Roasted brussels sprouts have always been very hit or miss for me. Sometimes they’re so good I want to eat the whole pan. But other times I get my heat or timing wrong, and the sprouts go mushy in the center.
Over the years I’ve moved on to other methods, and I don’t miss roasting one bit. I love to simply halve and panfry them (see this page), or shred and fry them in a hot pan, which is probably my favorite method. Here, I toss them with deep-fried shallots, shallot oil, and pecans, which makes a dish worthy of special meals. If you have a food processor, the Brussels sprouts prep is a breeze; otherwise, wait to make this until you have a friend in the kitchen looking for a task. Chopping those little sprouts one by one is a bit of a project.
This recipe gets much of its crunch and texture from deep-fried shallot rings, which are easy to make and a great addition to all sorts of dishes. Be sure to start the shallots out in cold oil and heat them up together to prevent burning. Use the leftover shallot oil in dressings or to add a shallot essence to meat or vegetables.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 1 cup peanut or corn oil
- ¾ cup thinly sliced shallot rings (from 3 to 4 ounces shallots)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 0.33 cup pecans
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Squeeze of lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the oil into a small skillet. Add the shallots, set the pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots become golden, 11 to 13 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to transfer the shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate. They’ll crisp up as they cool. Leave the shallot oil in the skillet.
- Trim away the bottoms of the sprouts and remove any brown or wilted outer leaves. Pass the Brussels sprouts through the grating disk of a food processor, or thinly slice the sprouts with a knife.
- Set a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Toast the pecans in the skillet, stirring often and taking care not to let them burn, until they barely color and smell nutty, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the pecans to a cutting board and roughly chop them.
- Return the large skillet to medium-high heat. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the shallot oil into the large skillet. (Strain the rest and store it in your pantry for up to 1 month; use it on meats and vegetables.) Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often, until they’re bright green with crispy bits, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the salt as they cook, tossing to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and gently fold in the pecans. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a platter and top with a generous squeeze of lemon, pepper, and the crispy shallots.