Brussels sprouts are more versatile than most people realize; they can be cooked whole or cut, or just the leaves can be quickly sautéed. Blanched in plenty of salted water as they are here, their sweetness is enhanced. Kohlrabi is in the cabbage family and has the flavor and texture of the inner broccoli stalk. Radishes, which we're most familiar with served raw, are gently cooked here in butter with a glaze of vinegar and sugar.
12 ounces Brussels sprouts
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Meanwhile, trim the root ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove and discard any tough or bruised outer leaves. Cut the sprouts in half through the root end.
Blanch the sprouts until tender, about 4 minutes. Chill in the ice bath and drain. Transfer to a tray and put in the refrigerator to chill.
Trim the greens from the radishes and wash the radishes under cold water. Cut larger radishes into 6 wedges each, smaller radishes into quarters.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan big enough to hold the radishes in a single layer. Add the shallot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Add the radishes. sugar, and vinegar, season generously with salt and pepper, and add 1/4 cup of the stock. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, and simmer gently for about 8 minutes, until the radishes are crisp-tender. Cook uncovered, swirling the pan, to glaze the radishes, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut the stems and roots from the kohlrabi. Stand each kohlrabi on a cut end and peel it with a sharp knife, cutting deep enough to reach the tender flesh. Cut lengthwise into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Trim the rounded sides of the slices and cut the kohlrabi into 1/2-inch-wide batons. You need 2 cups of batons (reserve any remaining kohlrabi for another use).
Add the kohlrabi to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and transfer to paper towels to drain thoroughly.
Bring the remaining 1/4 cup stock to a simmer in a large sauté pan. Whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter until emulsified and smooth. Add the Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi and cook over high heat for 45 seconds. Add the radishes and any liquid remaining in the pan and heat through. If the butter begins to break, you can swirl in another couple of tablespoons of stock or water. Toss in the chives and season with salt and pepper and a few drops of vinegar, or to taste. Transfer the vegetables to a platter.
Yield: Serves 6
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