Brussels Sprouts with Sherry Vinaigrette and Prosciutto Bread Crumbs

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Like most red-blooded American children of the ‘80’s, I hated Brussels sprouts growing up. Fortunately, back then the little cabbages weren’t the least bit trendy, and I probably saw them grace our dinner table less than five times in eighteen years.

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Contrast that with today, where Brussels sprouts have enjoyed quite the fifteen minutes of fame in high-end restaurants, best-selling cookbooks, cooking shows, and yes, food blogs. I’m not sure what today’s red-blooded American children are going to do! Parents, please weigh in: do children still hate Brussels sprouts? Or have they too come around to see the merits of these little beauties?

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One sure benefit of the Brussels sprouts craze is that there is much information and instruction on how to cook them properly. Honestly, they are at their best when seared and almost charred. Which is how they are prepared here. And this recipe really impressed me.

I’m sharing it as part of my November-getting-you-ready-for-Thanksgiving thing I’m doing on the blog, and I do think these would be quite at home at any Thanksgiving spread.

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Yes, this recipe requires three separate steps, but, but! All three steps can be done at separate times, and all three steps can be made ahead. The vinaigrette can be made up to three days ahead, the bread crumbs can be made up to two days ahead, and the sprouts themselves can be made several hours in advance. Assembly is a snap, and you can serve this at room temperature, so you can literally throw this together at the *very* last minute with no reheating even remotely necessary.

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And this side dish is so unbelievably delicious, it could easily upstage the turkey (well, okay, maybe not quite this turkey). Think about it: you’ve got perfectly browned and tender Brussels sprouts, doused in a tangy vinaigrette and then coated in this toasty, salty, porky crunch of the bread crumbs. It’s really amazing. Enjoy!

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Source: slightly adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton

{One Year Ago: Apple Cider Margaritas}

Ingredients:

PROSCIUTTO BREAD CRUMBS:
1/8 lb. prosciutto, cut into large pieces
1 tbs olive oil
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup minced fresh chives
3 ½ tbs minced fresh tarragon leaves

SHERRY VINAIGRETTE:
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 tbs finely chopped shallots
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbs olive oil

BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, outer leaves removed, and sprouts halved
½ cup plus 1 tbs olive oil, plus more as needed
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Half of a lemon

Directions:
First, make the PROSCIUTTO BREAD CRUMBS: adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 F. Line a plate with paper towels.
Place the prosciutto pieces in a mini food processor and pulse until finely ground. Combine the prosciutto and olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the prosciutto is brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the prosciutto with a slotted spoon to the prepared plate. Add the bread crumbs to the pan and stir to let them soak up the oil from cooking the prosciutto.
Scatter the bread crumbs on a baking sheet and place them in the oven to toast for 8-10 minutes, stirring once or twice during. Remove the bread crumbs from the oven but leave it on. Add the prosciutto and minced herbs to the baking sheet with the bread crumbs and stir to combine. Return the baking sheet to the oven for about 10 minutes, stirring them once or twice and keeping a careful eye (and nose!) to make sure they don’t burn. They should be golden brown and crisp. Set them aside to cool to room temperature. If not using right away, transfer to an airtight food storage container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
To make the SHERRY VINAIGRETTE, combine the vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. If not using right away, transfer to an airtight food storage container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring back to room temperature before using.
To cook the BRUSSELS SPROUTS, put the halves in a large bowl, drizzle them with ¼ cup olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat evenly.
Heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil is almost smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs and working in 2 batches, place the Brussels sprouts cut side down in a single layer in the oil and saute them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown on both sides and tender but not mushy. Remove the sprouts to a bowl or plate as they are done. Repeat, using the last tbs of oil or more as needed, until all the sprouts are cooked. If not using immediately, transfer to an airtight food storage container and keep at room temperature until ready to use.
To assemble and serve the dish: drizzle the sprouts with the vinaigrette, starting with half and seeing if you need the rest. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over the sprouts. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a platter and sprinkle them with the bread crumbs. Be very generous with the bread crumbs. Squeeze a few more drops of lemon juice over the bread crumbs and serve.

6 responses to “Brussels Sprouts with Sherry Vinaigrette and Prosciutto Bread Crumbs

  1. HUGE! Fan of brussel sprouts and then you’ve added in a whole bunch of favourite flavours.

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  4. Oh my gosh, this sounds insanely delicious! Prosciutto bread crumbs?? Heaven!

  5. absolutely scrumptious..thx for sharing your recipe

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