A “slow” saute starts out with a crowded pan and a loose cover. First the veggies steam, and then they begin to reduce in size and brown. The trick is to keep a gentle sizzle in the pan so the dense veggies cook through and brown at about the same rate. Don’t be tempted to rush and turn up the heat! You can make this ahead, hold it in the pan for an hour or so, and reheat loosely covered. This recipe originally appeared with this article.

Serves 5 to 6

  •  1 tablespoon orange juice
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  •  1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts (aim for sprouts all about the same size)
  •  8 to 10 whole cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  •  2 ounces bacon (about 2 to 3 strips – I like thick-cut), cut into 1-inch pieces
  •  3 sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary, or sage
  •  1 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, balsamic, and brown sugar until the brown sugar mostly dissolves.
  2. Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and quarter them lengthwise. (If they are very small, you can just halve them.) 
  3. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet that has a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sprouts, the garlic, the bacon, and the herb sprigs. Season with 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and stir to combine. It will look like a very crowded pan (that’s okay). Cover loosely and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are glistening and all beginning to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. (If browning is happening too fast, turn the heat to medium-low.)
  4. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium-low if you haven’t already, and continue cooking, stirring more frequently, until the sprouts are very well-browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes more.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, remove the herb sprigs, and immediately add the orange mixture and the cold butter pieces. Stir gently until all of the butter has melted. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Serve warm.