Eat Your Cabbage Patch, Kids! {aka Charred Brussels Sprouts with Marcona Almonds}

People either love or hate Brussels sprouts - and more times than not they're the only side dish remaining after holiday gatherings and dinner parties; until now.  I've devised a delicious way to prepare these "cabbage patch kids" for even the most discriminating, close minded dinner guest.  This charred, nutty technique give the small bundles a new flavor and presentation completely different from what we've experienced, tasted in the past, and they're the easiest dish to prepare at your next alfresco, grill party. 

 Al Fresco Designs, Snacks with Daniel Keeley | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Al Fresco Designs, Snacks with Daniel Keeley | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

For the most recent June issue of Citiscapes magazine I teamed up with Thrill of the Grill alum Daniel Keeley of DK Outdoor Design at the immaculate home of Chris Goddard to create a delicious, sublime dinner party for some of our closest friends.  The end result was a beautifully designed environment ideally structured for an al fresco gathering that featured a menu entirely prepared from the grill; a fun, interesting way to engage guests while they chat, imbibe.  https://www.citiscapes.com/eats-drinks

  

Our Charred Brussels Sprouts with Marcona Almonds are a perfect accompaniment to our Herb Crusted Lamb with Grilled Grapes http://www.edibleculture.net/blog/sheep-thrills-or-grilled-herb-crusted-lamb-skewers and Charred Baby Octopus with Olives and Pickled Peppers http://www.edibleculture.net/blog/lets-get-kraken-on-this-charred-baby-octopus-with-olives-pickled-peppers-and-basil-oil and can be prepared in a matter of just a few minutes. 

 Cast Iron of Cabbage Patch Kids | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Cast Iron of Cabbage Patch Kids | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

We simply begin by heating a large cast iron skillet over high heat, adding butter, olive oil until sizzling, then hitting the skillet with cleaned Brussel sprouts, mixing and turning every few minutes to coat and heat.  After about five minutes, the sprouts should start to char a bit, so now we add a handful of Marcona almonds, available at Wholefoods, which will toast as we near the end of the cooking process.  Marcona almonds, also known as the “Queen of Almonds,” are imported from Spain. We eat them as snacks at home on a daily basis; they are shorter, rounder, softer, and exponentially more delicious than domestic almonds. We particularly love the blanched Marcona almonds that are roasted in olive oil and then sprinkled with sea salt; a completely different almond than most Americans are used to - give 'em a try.

 Spanish Marcona Almonds Elevate Brussels Sprouts | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Spanish Marcona Almonds Elevate Brussels Sprouts | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Once the Brussels sprouts are charred and the almonds are toasted we finish with salt, pepper, grated lemon zest, and a whisper of extra virgin olive oil.  Simple, sublime, delicious.  Thump thump!  

 Eat Your Cabbage Patch, Kids! | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Eat Your Cabbage Patch, Kids! | Photo Cred:  Kerri McMahon

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Marcona Almonds and Lemon Zest

Prep Time:  15 Minutes | Cook Time:  20 Minutes

Author:  Case Dighero | Recipe Type:  Side Dish | Serves:  8

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts (Washed)
  • 1 Cup Marcona Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup, plus 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Lemon - Zested
  • Salt and Pepper

Technique

-Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat; add olive oil and butter, once butter is melted incorporate Brussels sprouts to pan, then cook until lightly charred.  Next, add Marcona almonds to the pan of sprouts and cook until toasted; remove Brussels sprouts and almonds onto a platter, then finish with salt, pepper, grated lemon zest, and final tablespoon of olive oil.  Devour!