Thanksgiving Side: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts With Almonds & Chiles
Tossing sprouts with a simple honeyed vinaigrette brings out their natural sweetness while roasting them helps develop their deep savory notes. To avoid soggy steamed sprouts, heat your sheet pan in the oven. When you add the sprouts to the hot pan, you’ll know by the accompanying sizzle that they’re on track. For a sunny jolt, top the charred sprouts with a drizzle of honey (or agave), sliced chiles tempered with a splash of vinegar, smoky almonds, and fresh orange zest and juice.
Tip: If you can’t find smoked almonds, toast ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, plain almonds, macadamia nuts, or pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika; season with salt and pepper and let cool before garnishing.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields 6 to 8 servings
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons honey or agave
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if large)
- 1 small red Fresno chile, very thinly sliced, seeds discarded
- 1 orange
- ⅓ cup chopped smoked almonds (or other nuts; see Tip)
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees and set a large sheet pan in the oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil with 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Add the brussels sprouts to the dressing and toss to coat. (Be sure to add any precious outer leaves that fell off during slicing; they’ll crisp up in the oven and add tons of texture.)
- Add the brussels sprouts to the hot sheet pan (you should hear a satisfying sizzle), push them around into an even layer and bake them until tender and charred in spots, about 25 minutes.
- While the brussels sprouts roast, prepare the chile garnish: Combine the chile and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in a small bowl and set aside. (The vinegar’s acidity will tame the chile’s heat.)
- Once the brussels sprouts have roasted, season to taste with salt and pepper. (You may be surprised how much seasoning they need.)
- Transfer the brussels sprouts to a serving platter or bowl. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey. Finely grate the orange zest over the brussels sprouts, then quarter the orange and squeeze one portion over the sprouts. Top with the nuts and, using a fork, distribute the chiles on top (discarding the vinegar or saving it for another use). Enjoy hot or at room temperature.
Check out the NYTimes full Thanksgiving menu with recipes.
Recipe: Alexa Weibel/The New York Times Cooking
Image: Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.