It takes an extra measure of creativity to build a following for Brussels sprouts. But Eric Ottensmeyer of Leon’s Full Service in Decatur has done it—by thinly slicing the controversial little orbs and then sauteing the shreds with apple, onion, and bacon. That popular side dish is featured not only as an a la carte item on Leon’s menu, but also in Fresh Food Nation by Martha Holmberg (The Taunton Press, 2013), a terrific collection of recipes from independent farmers across the country and the chefs who support them (e.g. Riverview Farms, Serenbe, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, and Jenny Jack Sun Farm also represent Georgia in these pages). Topped with a fried egg, this cool-weather hash makes a nourishing and flavorful main dish that needs only a hunk of crusty bread to make a complete meal.—Susan Puckett
1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
4 ounces bacon (4 or 5 slices), diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tart firm apple, such as Braeburn, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
1. Trim any dried ends of the sprouts and pull off any yellowed leaves. Cut each sprout in half, lay the flat side on the cutting board, and cut into 1⁄8-inch slices. Set aside. In a large frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until just crisp, about 10 minutes. Scoop out the bacon and set it aside. Pour off the fat from the frying pan and save it for another use.
2. Put the frying pan back over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft, fragrant, and beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Add the sliced sprouts to the frying pan, add a bit more salt, and toss to combine the onions and sprouts. Continue cooking until the sprouts begin to brown, then add the apples. Stir in the vinegar and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the frying pan. Add the stock and cook at a lively simmer until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved bacon and the lemon juice. Season with pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning. Keep warm as you cook the eggs.
4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick pan. When the butter stops foaming, gently break the eggs into the pan; use a spatula to keep the whites from spreading too much, and let each egg set slightly before you add the next so they don’t run into each other. Season with salt and pepper. Fry the eggs as the diners request (sunny side up, over easy, and so forth). Divide the hash among dinner plates and slide an egg on top of the hash. Serve right away.
Photograph by Kathryn Barnard