Brussel sprouts on their own are… eh, pretty blah. They taste like little cabbages. No big deal (but still cute.)
But when you add pork or nuts or herbs to them, they come alive. I like to make them with pancetta. Big cubes of pancetta with some whole brussels roasting in the oven is one of the easiest, most satisfying vegetables in the world. But all of that pancetta can pack in a lot of calories and fat (hello, lovely pork fat.) Since Spring is upon us (and Summer right around the corner), I decided to make a lighter version of brussel sprouts with pork. So I came up with this recipe.
Brussel Sprouts with Soppressata, Capers, and Olives
1 pound brussel sprouts, sliced in half lengthwise (or quartered if very large)
1 ounce soppressata, salami or any cured ham, cut into matchsticks
6-8 olives, kalamata or any nice french or greek mix, diced
2 tbsp. capers
1 shallot, diced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. butter, cut into 1/2 tbsp slices
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
optional: sprinkle of fresh parsley
Place the sliced brussel sprouts into a bowl with about an inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, until the brussel sprouts start to cook a little bit. Drain.
Over medium-high heat, spray a large skillet with Pam and cook the shallots, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes until the shallots start to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the shallots, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes from the skillet and set aside.
Melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter into the olive oil in the same skillet. Lower heat to medium. (There’s something about combining butter and olive oil that creates a more rich flavor.) Place all of the sliced brussel sprouts into the skillet SLICED SIDE DOWN. This is very important so that you get a nice crust on one side while the outer part of the sprout is tender.
Cover the brussel sprouts in the pan and allow the steam to cook them through. After about five minutes, check for doneness. If they are nice and brown, perfect. If not, let them go a few more minutes. Once that step is complete, add the shallots, olives, capers, and red pepper flakes back to the pan as well as the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Saute the mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.