I grew up eating Brussels sprouts that had been boiled to an anemic state, each with a deep “X” cut into its base. It wasn’t until I was a student in New York and tried my first deep-fried Brussels sprout at a David Chang restaurant that I realized I had been missing out on an incredibly versatile and flavourful vegetable. Although this recipe sidesteps the deep fryer, cooking the Brussels sprouts in a cast iron skillet really brings out their texture and nuttiness. Lemon and pecorino cheese make this dish bright, and adding pistachios makes it so craveable and moreish that it never lasts long. –Christine Flynn
Lemony Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pistachios
- 2 cups shelled raw pistachios
- ¼ cup neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola
- 1½ lbs (675 g) Brussels sprouts thinly sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- pinch dried red chilies
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Toasted Pistachios
- 1 cup finely grated pecorino cheese
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the nuts in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, give the nuts a stir, and check to see if they are golden and smell nuttier than they did before they went in the oven. You’re going to have to use your judgment here, but I find 8 minutes to be a good amount of time for a light toast on a medium-size nut. For a darker toast, return to the oven for 2 to 4 minutes and then check again. Repeat as necessary, until your nuts are perfectly golden brown. Let cool. (Store the remaining toasted nuts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.)
- In a medium cast iron skillet, heat about half of the neutral oil over high heat, until it starts to shimmer. Add about half of the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with about half of the salt. Let the sprouts caramelize over high heat without stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, reducing the heat if they start to look too dark. Stir once. Continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until the sprouts are charred but still crunchy. Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl or platter. Repeat with the remaining oil, Brussels sprouts and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon, chilies, lemon juice and pistachio oil. Drizzle the mixture over the sprouts. Add the pistachios and about half of the pecorino. Toss well to combine. Top with the remaining pecorino. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.