My friends Sam and Christine hate brussel sprouts. I was able to convert them this past holiday with my newest rendition of Brussel Sprouts Almondine.
I usually chiffonade the sprouts but two Boulder restaurants (Happy Noodle and Arugula Ristorante) introduced me to the painstakingly time consuming but oh-so-worth-it technique of pulling the leaves off and cooking them quickly. The result is delicious, tender greens with a yummy crunch. If you happen to have small children at home, pulling the leaves off of the brussel sprouts is a great job for them.
Brussel Sprouts Almondine
4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 medium leek or 1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Zest of half a lemon
1 (1-lb.) bag brussel sprouts, end trimmed and each leaf pulled
1 cup Marcona Almonds (slivered almonds can be substituted)
1/4 cup Heavy Cream (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon (optional – if you are not using the heavy cream)
Maldon Smoked Sea Salt and Pepper (regular sea salt is fine too)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
Heat the butter over medium heat and add the leeks and cook until soft. Add the thyme and lemon zest and increase heat to high.
Add the sprout leaves and mix to coat well. Add the almonds and mix well. Add the cream or the lemon juice and cover for a minute or two.
Remove lid. Season with salt, pepper and the crushed red pepper. Toss once again then serve.