Vegetables not only make the healthiest side dishes, but they can also be the quickest to cook. Does a side dish recipe in under seven minutes work for you? We thought so! Try this tasty Brussels sprouts recipe and try our tips to make quick work of all of your veggie sides!
The key to cooking vegetables quickly is all in the cut. Bite-sized pieces, about 1/4- to 1/2-inch, par-cook perfectly in three minutes or less, leaving ample time to finish the cooking process in a hot pan with a splash of olive oil to caramelize. If steaming is more your speed, vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces will offer more surface area for steam to penetrate, with perfectly steamed veggies in five to seven minutes.
As soon as vegetables are cut, however, they begin to lose their nutritional value. To retain the maximum flavor and nutrients, cut vegetables just before cooking.
Garnish vegetables with toasted nuts, crumbled blue cheese, fresh herbs, coarse salt and fresh unsalted butter, or with rendered bacon or pancetta and citrus, as shown in the picture, making the effortless side dish seem extra special.
Brussels sprouts with pancetta and orange
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, heads cut in half from top to stem
- 1/2 cup chopped, cooked pancetta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 orange, peeled, cut into segments
- In a small bowl, whisk together honey, orange juice and orange zest. Stir in pancetta; set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat water with a pinch of salt over high heat; bring to boiling. Add Brussels sprouts; cook four minutes. Drain, set aside. Dry skillet.
- Return skillet to high heat. Add olive oil and sprouts; cook two minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer sprouts to a medium bowl. Add honey mixture and orange segments. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.