When it comes to food, here are three of my favorite words, especially when they're together: sweet and sour. What is it about this combination that is so appealing once it hits the palate? It just tastes, well, right.

The latest Brussels sprouts recipe to join my weekly repertoire depends on this agrodolce, as the Italians so mellifluously put it. You briefly steam Brussels sprouts to get them going, then toss them with a lot of shallots, along with olive oil, salt, pepper -- and the all-important marriage of balsamic vinegar and honey. After about a half-hour, the lot is nicely caramelized, and you toss it with cooked lentils.

The finishing touch: more sweet and sour, in the form of more balsamic vinegar you've boiled down with a pinch of sugar into a glaze. The result is a warm, hearty salad perfect for the cool weather, served as an entree or side dish. If you save this one for a special event, I wouldn't blame you.