1 pound small Brussels sprouts
Salt, as needed
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Bring several quarts of water to boil in a saucepan.

Meanwhile, trim and discard a layer or two of loose outer leaves from each of the Brussels sprouts. Trim a thin slice from stem end of each sprout. Add trimmed sprouts and salt to taste to boiling water. Cook until sprouts are almost tender, about 4 minutes. Plunge into a bowl of ice water. Cut sprouts crosswise into thin strips and set aside.

Place the nuts in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast, shaking pan occasionally to turn nuts, until they are golden-brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to a small plate.

Briefly heat the olive oil in empty skillet. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add Brussels sprouts and salt to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts have browned slightly, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook just until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in nuts and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

VARIATION: Replace pine nuts with an equal amount of pecans. Add 1 teaspoon grated orange zest with garlic. Replace vinegar with 1/4 cup orange juice.

— Recipe adapted from "Vegetables Every Day," by Jack Bishop (HarperCollins, 2001)