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2000s Recipes + Menus

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Buttered Pecans

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:40 min
November 2006
If you find it difficult to get excited about Brussels sprouts, then it's likely you’ve never sampled baby ones. The tiny sprouts—less than an inch across—lack the bitterness of their full-grown counterparts. Paired with buttered pecans, they may just become your new Thanksgiving favorite.
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, cut crosswise into thirds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 lb baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Spread pecan pieces in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and bake until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to nuts and toss until butter is melted and nuts are coated.
  • While nuts bake, cook Brussels sprouts in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain sprouts and pat dry.
  • Melt remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to moderately high, then add sprouts and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir in pecans and serve.
Cooks’ notes:
  • If you can’t find baby Brussels sprouts, you can use 2 lb regular Brussels sprouts, quartered.
  • Pecans can be toasted and buttered 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, covered.
  • Brussels sprouts can be boiled 1 day ahead and kept chilled in a sealed plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
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