"Pot-Stuck" Brussels Sprouts

By • October 15, 2013 • 15 Comments

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Author Notes: Adapted from Mollie Katzen's "The Heart of the Plate."Marian Bull

Serves 2

  • 1/2 pound medium-sized brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Blanch your brussels sprouts for 30 seconds, drain, and dry thoroughly.
  2. The key to getting a good char on your brussels sprouts is making sure they don't crowd. If you're working with a large pan (e.g. a 10-inch cast iron skillet), cook them all at once. If your pan is smaller, fry in two batches. Heat oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add one sprout, cut-side down; if it begins to sizzle immediately, add the rest. You want most of them to land cut-side down, but don't drive yourself crazy.
  3. Let your sprouts cook, untouched, for a minute or so, and then check them. If they're white or light brown on the bottom, let them cook a bit more. You want to wait to flip them until they are charred and almost black. Once they are, flip to the other side, and wait for side two to cook until crispy. Add salt, toss a few times, then move them all to the edge of the pan.
  4. Add your onion (or half of the onion, if you're working in batches) to the pan. If it looks very dry, add a touch more oil. If you're worried about them burning, turn the heat down a bit. Let them cook for a minute or two, stirring lightly, until they soften slightly.
  5. Toss onions and sprouts together; let them cook for 30 more seconds. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, allow everything to steam for a moment, and then you're done! Taste for salt. Fry your second batch now, if it's still waiting for you.
  6. Note: These taste great at any temperature, so don't stress about timing.
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10 days ago Bluejade

I am now combining this recipe with AntoniaJames comments here. I brined the brussel sprouts. Then oven roasted at 425 for 15 - 20 minutes. (I also usually have something else in the oven.) Finally, I sautéed the brussel sprouts in olive oil for a few minutes to make sure they're crisp. The brining does keep them greener and sweeter, but adds a lot of water. We kind of like really crisp vegetables at my house, so the extra step makes a difference.

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3 months ago chris

When did y'all start checking for doneness, in a 425 degree oven? I'm guessing maybe 15 minutes, for al dente.

Stringio

12 months ago Sietske van Schaik

Forget the olive oil, bacon grease all the way ;-)

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about 1 year ago Robert Volbrecht

Fantastic recipe! I make two batches for family dinner: one as is, and the other with cooked mushroom slices included. I cook the mushrooms separately with a toss of dry sherry, drain, then add the last five minutes of cooking. Even Brussels Sprout "haters" like this recipe.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Carl Johansson

Thanks for the recipe. I usually blanch and serve with a lime aioli.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

These were delicious, by the way (especially the ones that I brined instead of parboiled -- really moist but not mushy -- and almost sweet). I wasn't crazy though about how the lemon juice dulled the color of the the Brussels sprouts after about 15 minutes, so I recommend holding off until just before serving to squeeze the lemon juice over these. ;o)

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about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Just to circle back on this . . . I did a side-by-side comparison, parboiling half (and I actually cut each Brussels sprout in half, putting one half in one pile and the other in the second pile) and for the other half, using my favorite secret weapon for eggplant and zucchini, which can leave a bitter aftertaste: I brine them, cut, for 5 - 10 minutes before cooking. (This is a tip I first read about, years ago, in my ancient -- circa 1941 -- edition of The Joy of Cooking. I cannot remember for which vegetable Mrs. Rombauer suggests brining (in fact, it may be Brussels sprouts!), but I do know that the light salt water bath works miracles on the structural integrity of eggplant while cooking, and is a lot easier/reliable than salting and draining. But I digress.) The end result: brining produced a sweeter cooked Brussels sprout, and is easier, than parboiling. ;o) I'll post this to the comments in the recipe as well.

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about 1 year ago ascherl

AntoniaJames, what's your preferred brining protocol? How much salt and how long? Then followed by a good rinse in the colander after, or a full soak in fresh water? I will check what my Joy says.

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about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

ascherl, sorry for the delay here. Mrs Rombauer says to brine in cold water to which "a little salt" has been added, for 12 minutes. Mine usually sit in the brine quite a bit longer than that. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's a few minutes or even as long as an hour. Just out of curiosity, and because I have a few extra minutes before I need to go into the office today, I prepped about 3/4 of a pound for dinner tonight, which are now in the fridge. I added about a scant teaspoon of coarse Korean salt to 3 cups of water (dissolving first in 1/4 cup of warm water). I'll let you know how they turn out! ;o)

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

asheri, just to follow up on my last post: I brined the halved Brussels sprouts for about 10 hours (put them in at breakfast time, cooked them at dinner). I roasted them after lightly patting dry -- there were still quite a few drops of moisture but I didn't worry about them -- and then roasted them without additional salt in a hot oven, 425 degrees, on a lightly oiled pan. They were a spectacular success. The centers were a touch firm, but the outsides not at all mushy, and not the slightest touch of bitterness. They remained a brilliant green, even when fully cooked (thanks to the brine). I'm making another batch tonight. ;o)

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about 1 year ago ascherl

Hi AntoniaJames, thanks for taking the time to follow up. I've made a few batches of dutch-oven roasted brined sprouts and I will never go back to mushy over-roasting again. Will try your oven method since I much prefer it to the stove top.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Mike Vella

I love making them like this, but I add pancetta. :)

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

When preparing Brusslies on top of the stove, I always give them an interim steam, simply by putting the lid on and cooking on very low heat for about 2 minutes after they've started to caramelize well but before flipping over to complete the browning/crisping. It works great. I'll have to do a side-by-side comparison to see if the blanching step is worth it. ;o)

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about 1 year ago LauriL

Glad to have all of your shared experience Antonia as I'm visiting California and making the freshest BS I've ever seen!!

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about 1 year ago Sunnycovechef

This sounds great, leave it to Mollie Katzen. It looks especially good with the polenta.