Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers Print Email

For the fried capers:
1/4 cup brined capers, drained
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the sprouts:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, large ones cut in half lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons reserved olive oil from the fried capers
1/2 cup dry vermouth or water
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

For the fried capers:
Drain the capers in a colander or sieve and press down on them to squeeze out excess moisture. Lay them on paper towels to dry a bit. Pour the oil into a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat; it should be about 1/4 inch deep. When the oil is shimmering, almost smoking, add the capers and fry, stirring, until they open up like flowers and brown. Remove capers from the oil and place them on several layers of paper towels to drain. Reserve 6 tablespoons of the olive oil for cooking the Brussels sprouts and discard the remainder.

For the Brussels sprouts:
Fit a food processor with the slicing blade. With it running, drop the Brussels sprouts down the feed tube to thinly slice them. (Use the hopper to push the sprouts through—it creates better slices.) Alternatively, you may use a mandoline or a sharp knife to thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Mash the garlic and salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with a chef’s knife on a cutting board.

Heat 2 large (12-inch) frying pans over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have 2 pans, you’ll have to do this in 2 batches.) When the pans are hot, spoon 3 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil and half the garlic paste into each. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the Brussels sprouts and toss them gently until they are coated with oil, and then let them sit undisturbed for about 1 minute, so that they crisp and brown slightly. Toss again and cook for about 1 minute more. Pour in the vermouth and stir-fry until the Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender but still bright green, about 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Consolidate the Brussels sprouts into one pan, and place over medium-low heat to keep them hot. Add the fried capers to the pan, then add the vinegar, toss, taste, and correct the seasonings. Transfer to a big, pretty bowl and serve hot. -

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