I have this distinct memory of my first brussels sprout experience.
I could wax poetic about texture (there was a lot) and flavor (it was bad), color (definitely bland and kind of . . . wilted), but I’ll be brief and just say that my brussels sprout sensibilities have matured as I’ve aged. I’ve also learned how to cook them a bit differently than whoever cooked them for me that first time. So, in addition to culinary maturity, the actual vegetable dish itself has improved.
It’s all good. In fact, it’s quite good. Brussels sprouts are actually one of my all time favorite vegetables.
Hear that younger self? If time travel is a thing I hope you Google yourself, find this post, and read these words: YOU WILL LIKE BRUSSLES SPROUTS.
Awesome. Now if the time-space continuum breaks you’ll know it’s my fault.
That’s the power of a properly cooked vegetable. And it’s even more powerful when topped with a soft egg.
CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH A SOFT EGG
1 lb brussles sprouts
3 + tablespoons clarified butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by washing the brussels sprouts in a colander under cold water. Then slice the edge of the bottom stem off, removing the first layer of leaves. Pull these away and then slice the sprout in half. Do this with each sprout. It’s a little tedious, but totally worth it.
Once all of your sprouts are cleaned, heat the butter in a large flat-bottom pan over med-high heat. If you are so inclined, feel free to add more butter. Because butter.
Toss the cleaned sprouts in the pan and turn with a spatula to coat evenly. Salt and pepper generously, cover, and let the heat do its magic. Leave them sit for 3 minutes or so, and then turn again. Leave for another three minutes and turn. The goal here is to allow the heat to soften the sprouts while gently crisping the outer edges. You are going for a browned-almost-brunt edge on the majority of the sprouts without overcooking or over-softening them. Mushy sprouts are gross. No amount of butter can fix them.
When the edges are browned, remove the sprouts from the pan, turn down the heat a bit and cook the eggs. Crack the shells gently so as not to break the yokes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and allow the eggs to cook just a couple of minutes—until the yellow yoke is covered with a very think film of white.
Plate the brussels sprouts evenly between four plates, and using a soft spatula, gently top each pile of sprouts with a soft egg.
*makes four servings