Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon, garlic and cumin, generously showered with Pecorino Romano cheese, and crunchy toasted garlicky breadcrumbs – dressed this way, the Brussels sprouts become a glorious side dish, and a must for your Thanksgiving table.
I don’t know what’s going on this year but it looks like we have a wild turkey infestation – everywhere you go, you see turkeys marching around in long processions, crossing the streets like prima donnas, drawing traffic to a halt, pecking on front yards, walking all over roofs…It feels like they are taking over the neighborhood!!
They are goofy too – the other day, as I was running up the hill, I came upon one of these turkey flocks, and they thought I was chasing them, so they started sprinting up ahead of me, until one of them (clever bird) thought of tricking me, and made a u-turn, which promptly made all her girlfriends follow suit! 😆
Seeing those silly birds everywhere is like a constant reminder that the big Turkey day is fast approaching (even faster this year)! Actually, until this morning I hadn’t realized that there are only two weeks left till Thanksgiving! Can you imagine!?
I’m not too worried about it though, because this year, I’m not cooking for Thanksgiving – not a single dish. Since our kitchen remodel will be well under way in the midst of the Holiday season (I know, perfect timing, right?!), we’re planning to be away from home, and probably having a more modest Thanksgiving dinner at some nice restaurant.
Anyway, while I still have my kitchen, I’m trying to cook a bunch of side dishes that I can share with you post-demolition, and before the big day. One of them is this tried and true recipe for pan-roasted Brussels sprouts, with a ton of lemon juice, and zest, garlic and cumin, plus heaps of grated Pecorino Romano (our favorite cheese that we can’t stop snacking on these days). Oh, and because it’s Thanksgiving, why not shower the whole thing with toasted garlicky breadcrumbs for extra crunch and flavor!
The whole dish takes no more than 20-30 minutes to prepare, especially if you’ve made the breadcrumbs in advance. I always keep a stash of these around to use on salads, sides, and even in meals like this one. They are so versatile, and really make some dishes pop.
The Brussels sprouts are first parboiled for three minutes to give them a headstart in the cooking, but then immediately submerged in cold water to preserve their bright green color, then finished off in a hot pan, with oil and salt. To get the nice charred surface, place the sprouts cut side down, and cook undisturbed for the first 5-6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium so they don’t burn too quickly, and resist the temptation to stir so they don’t get mushy. Once the cut side is nicely caramelized and crispy, flip over, and cook some more till they have softened. While they are still hot, pour the dressing over them, and shower with a generous amount of grated cheese (Parmesan can be subbed for the Pecorino), plus those crunchy, garlicky bread crumbs.
This has been a favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts or broccoli, and I hope it becomes yours too!
Also, since we’re on the topic of Brussels sprouts and Thanksgiving, check out these two favorite recipes:
Roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash salad with horseradish dressing
Creamy Brussels sprouts and leeks
Pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with lemon, garlic and cumin, generously showered with Pecorino Romano cheese, and crunchy toasted garlicky breadcrumbs.
- 1 lbs Brussels sprouts
- 2 lemons, juiced and zested
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 4-5 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup toasted garlic breadcrumbs (see instructions)
- 3-4 Tbs olive oil
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Cut a few slices of stale Italian bread into cubes. Drizzle 3-4 Tbs of olive oil, salt, and 3-4 pressed garlic cloves. Mix well, using your hands, to make sure the oil and spices are evenly distributed.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until completely dry and crispy. Let them cool off and pulse in a food processor a few times, to get a breadcrumb consistency. Store in a dry place and use as salad or side dish topping, or any recipe that requires the use of regular bread crumbs.
Clean and cut Brussels sprouts in half.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking, and retain the bright green color.
Heat 2-3 Tbs olive oil in a cast iron pan, and place Brussels sprouts, cut side down in one layer (do not overcrowd the pan). Leave undisturbed for about 5-6 minutes, or until they get a nicely browned surface. Sprinkle liberally with salt and black pepper, turn over and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side.
Smash the garlic with some salt in a mortar and pestle. Zest the lemons and squeeze the juice. Mix the garlic, lemon juice and zest, and cumin. Set aside.
Once the Brussels sprouts are cooked, drizzle the dressing over them, add more salt and pepper, and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, and the garlicky breadcrumbs.