If there's one vegetable that gets a bad rap - it's the brussels sprout. For long as I can remember, it's the veggie mentioned on television or written about in a book with a child sticking out their tongue in horror of even the word. While I do not doubt that there are wrong ways to cook this delicious baby green, there are plenty of right ways.
This recipe is a combination of several sprouts that we've eaten over the last few years. The most inspiration comes from this little restaurant in Brooklyn where we stopped in for their infamous happy hour of $5 old fashioned and $5 cheeseburger. The bartender told us that we could absolutely not leave until we ordered a side of their brussels sprouts. I could've kissed this gentleman square on the lips. We left NYC 5 days later, and all we could continue to talk about was that unexpected side of brussels sprouts.
1 bushel of brussels sprouts
1 jar of capers, drained
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 large lemon
1/4 cup of truffle oil (or aged olive oil)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cut each sprout in half. This helps the little guys brown easier and get that nice crisp quality. While you're doing this, heat the truffle oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add sprouts to skillet.
Stir the sprouts every few minutes allowing them to brown (not burn) evenly. After 10-15 minutes, add the salt, pepper, juice of the lemon and capers. Give it a quick stir and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. The goal here is for them to continue to soften without overcooking.
And now - The Lemon Vinaigrette
Truth be told, we often stop here at the recipe. When we're running short on time (or energy) the sprouts are absolutely delicious as is. However, if you have the time and want to give just a little more oomph to this dish, this vinaigrette is so easy and even more mouth-watering.
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
Whisk all ingredients until smooth. After sprouts come out of the oven, simply drizzle over and serve immediately.
Photography: The Happy Bloom