Brussels sprouts are, by nature, a bitter green. Potentially sulfurous but when coaxed in the right direction, unwound into sweet, buttery, soul warming goodness. This dish is studded with piquillo peppers, which are brought to us from Northern Spain. They are sweet rather than spicy, tangy and bright, more unexpected in flavor than roasted peppers. Piquillo peppers can be found online as well as on the shelves of nicer grocery stores and specialty food shops.
Foodie note: Find the best deal on cast-iron pans by shopping at restaurant supply stores. They’ll typically have larger sizes at a fraction of the price of sexy mall kitchen stores.
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 lb brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and sliced lengthwise
2 cloves of garlic, minced into large bits
3 piquillo peppers, sliced widthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 hearty tablespoon apple or pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt/pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 450*F, move rack to the middle of the oven.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast-iron pan to medium high heat. Add brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and leave alone to brown, about 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and stir; the brussels should sizzle.
- Combine mollasses and vinegar in a small bowl, stir to dissolve molasses, Add garlic and peppers; transfer mixture to cast-iron pan, stir to coat brussels in sauce.
- Cover pan with a large piece of foil, pressing down in the middle to create a snug blanket of foil. Transfer pan to hot oven. Bake about 20 minutes, until brussels are browned and easily pierced with a fork and sauce has been absorbed. Stir, finish with a sprinkle of salt and serve from the hot pan.