So many people are anti-brussels sprouts, and I just don't get it. I love them. They're in the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, which I also adore. I think they're wonderful quartered and sauteed in olive oil with some salt and pepper. I love to let them sit in the pan a little until their edges get all browned.
If you love brussels sprouts, or even if you don't -- because you may just find that you like them in this dish -- you've got to try this recipe. We're right in the middle of brussels sprout season, so there's really no better time.
This is another of the recipes I experimented with when some friends came over on New Year's Eve. I was just stunned at how delicious it was. It's one of those recipes that you make and think that there's no way it could possibly taste good when all is said and done, but oh it does. It tastes unbelievable.
The brussels sprouts are deep-fried with parsley and capers and then mixed with a dressing of anchovy fillets, a serrano chile, scallions, garlic, walnuts, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and honey. Somehow the different ingredients combine to bring an array of flavor in each mouthful. There's the bite from the vinegar, the heat from the serrano pepper, the brininess from the capers, and a hint of sweetness from the honey to bring it all together.
According to The Flavor Bible (can you tell it's my new obsession?), anchovies work really well with garlic, parsley, capers, olive oil, and red wine vinegar, so that's most of the components of this dish. Now I just need to figure out how to come up with recipes with these complex and cohesive flavor combinations on my own.
Along with the crazy good combination of flavors, this dish has varied textures too. The brussels sprouts are crunchy but soft from the deep frying, and the walnuts add a bit of firmness. It's somewhat like a warm salad.
You can find the recipe over on Leite's Culinaria. It's from Michael Symon's Live to Cook. A couple of tips: Be careful when deep-frying. Make sure you use a deep pot, and watch out for splatter, especially when you add the capers and parsley.
Let me know if you try this and what you think. My friends and I really enjoyed it!
A little note: According to Kim Severson (of The New York Times), they are brussels sprouts now and not Brussels sprouts. There's that editor nature of mine coming through.