Brussels sprouts were never a favorite vegetable of mine. I mean, they’re ok. I can eat them without gagging, but I have never bought them to cook and eat for myself. So I married a guy whose absolute favorite vegetable is Brussels sprouts. Go figure.
So a few years ago, because they’re his favorite, I started a tradition of cooking Brussels sprouts as one of the side dishes at every Thanksgiving feast I prepared. But a different way each time. So every year I have this quest to find a new recipe to present for dinner. I have to say that this one, where the pan browned sprouts are tossed with hazelnut butter infused with lemon zest is the most delicious way I have discovered thus far. I’m almost starting to like the little buggers. I made these for Thanksgiving 2009.
Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Butter
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Serves 6 to 8
For the Hazelnut Butter
1/3 cup hazelnuts (about 1 oz.)
2 oz. (4 tablespoons) salted butter, softened
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme
½ teaspoon honey
For the Brussels Sprouts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¾ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered or cut into 6 wedges if very large
½ cup low-salt chicken broth
Make the Butter
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast the hazelnuts for 5 to 6 minutes until deep golden brown. Rub as much of the skins off as possible in a kitchen towel. Cool for about 10 minutes, then finely chop ¼ cup of the nuts in a small food processor. Coarsely chop remaining nuts for garnish and set aside.
2. Put the finely chopped nuts, butter, lemon zest, thyme, honey and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl and mix with a spoon until combined. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
Cook the Brussels Sprouts
3. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and ½ teaspoon salt, and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium and cook stirring occasionally and then more frequently as the sprouts begin to brown, until all of the sprouts are golden-brown on most sides and have lost their raw color, 15 to 18 minutes. They will feel firm.
4. Add the broth and immediately cover the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced to a few tablespoons, about 2 minutes. Uncover and raise the heat to high, boiling off most of the remaining liquid, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Take the pan off the heat and add the hazelnut butter in spoonfuls. Toss well. Season with salt to taste.
6. Transfer the sprouts to a warm serving dish and garnish with reserved hazelnuts.