Introduction: Fried Brussels Sprouts With Walnuts and Capers

About: I love to spend time in the kitchen to relax and feed those I love with great eats and treats.

One of my favorite recipes from my favorite Ohio chef Michael Symon. These sprouts are delicious; the leaves get crispy, while the insides get tender, tossed in a vinaigrette with the perfect amount of spicy, sweet, and acidic notes to complement the fried sprouts, adding a little more crunch with fried capers, parsley, and walnuts. 

Original recipe found here:

Serves 4-6

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

You'll need:

Canola oil, for deep frying
1 clove garlic, minced
4 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, filleted, and minced (I used 1 tsp. anchovy paste)
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (Michael Symon uses 1/2 cup, since I like a lot of acid, I used less, use what you like)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. salt-packed capers, rinsed and patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 2: Prepare Ingredients, Make Vinaigrette

The key to keeping the Brussels sprouts intact is cutting through their cores; trim off the bottoms, discard any bad leaves, and make lengthwise cuts through the cores, if you're using small sprouts, halve them. After trimming give them a rinse (I use a 3 to 1, water to white vinegar wash), drain. I prepped mine a few hours ahead so they air-dried, if yours are wet dry them on paper towels as best you can.

Pour enough oil into a medium pot so that oil comes 3 inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Make sure you use a pan large enough so that oil is less than halfway up the sides, these sprouts really cause the oil to bubble up so leave ample room for the oil to expand.

While the oil is heating, whisk together the garlic, anchovies, serrano chili, red wine vinegar, honey, scallions, and extra virgin olive oil until combined in a bowl large enough to toss all of the Brussels sprouts. 

Step 3: Fry Brussels Sprouts and Assemble Salad

Working in batches (I had 4 total), deep-fry the Brussels sprouts until the edges begin to curl and brown, about 3 minutes. I used a spider tool (skimmer) to load, unload, and stir the sprouts, do stand away from the stove, these sprouts do sputter! (In between batches I made sure the oil came back up to 350 degrees F, this is important otherwise the sprouts will start absorbing oil instead of frying in it and that's not delicious at all.)

Drain each batch on a double-layer of paper towels, then add to the bowl with the dressing. 

To the last batch of sprouts, or alone, as I did, add the parsley and capers (again, stand back, the capers will pop). Give the contents of the pot a stir, when the color of the parsley becomes a deeper, more saturated shade of green, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, remove the contents with a skimmer to a paper-towel lined plate (Symon goes straight to the salad, if you don't mind a little extra oil, feel free to do that.), drain on the towels then add to the large bowl. Toss to coat and add the walnuts, season with salt and pepper to taste.


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