Charred Brussels Sprouts with Lardo, Fiore Sardo, and Piquillo Peppers

When fall arrives and the leaves begin to turn, I start to get excited—yes, really, excited!—for brassicas and crucifers. Brussels sprouts have gotten such a bad rap because they’re too often overcooked until army green and mushy—they actually taste best when they are a tad undercooked.

In this recipe, the Brussels sprouts are blanched, then pan-seared until nicely caramelized and crispy, then tossed with a zippy combination of lardo, peppers, and vinegar. If you can’t find lardo, substitute pancetta or bacon. If Fiore Sardo cheese is hard to come by, swap in Pecorino Romano. In addition to its great flavor, this is also a beautiful dish, all green and red, and would be terrific alongside a steak or pork roast. Or try it this year as a Thanksgiving side dish. 

By | September 14, 2017

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ cup ¼-inch-diced lardo (or substitute pancetta or bacon)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup diced piquillo peppers (or substitute roasted red peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh chives

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and set it nearby.

Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the boiling water with a spider or slotted spoon and immediately transfer to the ice water bath. Once cool, transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add as many Brussels sprouts as will fit in a single layer, facedown, and sear until the sprouts are nicely browned on one side and warmed through, about 4 minutes. Repeat with the remaining Brussels sprouts, adding more oil to the pan as necessary.

When all the sprouts have been browned, reduce the heat to medium. Add the lardo to the pan and gently sauté, stirring occasionally, until some of the fat begins to render. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until the shallot is translucent and the pieces of lardo are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the piquillo peppers and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more, then add the vinegar, paprika, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Transfer the piquillo pepper mixture to the bowl with the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Stir in the oregano and chives and season with salt and black pepper. Transfer the sprouts to a platter or plates and serve immediately.

Serves 6 as a first course or side dish.


Excerpted from Homegrown by Matt Jennings (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Huge Galdones.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • ½ cup ¼-inch-diced lardo (or substitute pancetta or bacon)
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup diced piquillo peppers (or substitute roasted red peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh chives
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