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Recipe
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Eat your Brussels sprouts: They’re good for you. And if they are briefly sautéed and caramelized, as opposed to boiled to oblivion, they are not only virtuous but sweet, a little nutty, and quite delicious.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves four to six as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered
  • 8 peppadew peppers, julienned
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons peppadew pickle liquid
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
  • Aged provolone cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (any semi-firm cheese, such as asiago, gruyere, or manchego would be a lovely variation.)

Directions

  • Add half of the olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, place half of the Brussels sprouts in a single layer into the pan. (Remember we want to caramelize our sprouts to develop their sweetness so they must be in contact with the pan. If they are multiple layers- crowding the pan in kitchen speak- then you are simply steaming the sprouts. Not at all what we desire.) When Brussels begin to brown ( approximately 3-4 minutes), transfer to a small bowl and repeat with the remaining olive oil and the remaining Brussels sprouts.

    When the second batch is caramelized around the edges, return the first batch of sprouts to the pan and add the julienned peppadew peppers and the peppadew pickle liquid. Stir in the butter and tear 4 of the basil leaves into the pan. While it is possible to cut the basil beforehand, nothing beats the aroma of basil freshly torn into small pieces at the very last moment. Finally, season gently with salt and pepper and taste. Adjust accordingly.

  • Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a beautiful serving bowl, garnish with toasted almonds, shaved curls of aged provolone cheese, and tear the last basil leaf with a theatrical flourish for your guests’ entertainment.