Winter Side Dish: Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

In the winter, I have a hard time getting inspired by veggie side dishes. Most of the stuff that's in season doesn't thrill me, and so many fruits and veggies are crazy expensive.

I spotted this recipe for carrots and Brussels sprouts in last month's Gourmet magazine and thought it looked promising. I served it to guests tonight and I'm glad to report that it was colorful and tasty. I liked that most of the preparation could be done in advance, and the cooking came together quickly. The photo doesn't do it justice, because when I'm serving food to guests I only have a chance to snap a quick photo.

The Brussels sprouts were tender and the carrots were fairly crisp -- maybe a bit too crisp. I used baby carrots because I had them on hand, but next time I'd use regular carrots and cut somewhat thin slices so that they turn out a bit more tender. I halved the recipe; that amount is below because that's the amount I'd usually make, and also because I think the smaller amount of veggies is more manageable in the pan.

I finally have something to contribute to the weekly ARF/5-A-Day Roundup at Sweetnicks! If you are looking for some good veggie recipes, check out the roundup that's posted each Tuesday night. (And if you're not looking for veggie recipes, just pop over to check out her beautiful new baby!)
Carrots and Brussels Sprouts
(Adapted from Gourmet, February 2008)

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon chopped shallot (from 1 medium)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 lb carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Cook shallot in 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add carrots, Brussels sprouts, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add water and cover skillet, then cook over medium-high heat until vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in vinegar, remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks' note: Vegetables can be cut 1 hour ahead and kept at room temperature.