Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Aioli and Sicilian Hot Sauce
I’ve always associated brussels sprouts with Passover. My mother would roast them every year, and they would usually sit untouched on the table for most of the night (the tiny cabbages weren’t the most popular in my house). As I started diving into Mediterranean cuisine, I found the beautiful balance of acid, fat, salt and bold flavors. I think this dish takes that idea and elevates the delicious brussels sprout to new heights. This showstopper has it all—the nutty goodness of the fried veg, the rich pop of garlic aioli and the umami bomb of the Sicilian hot sauce. I hope these brussels sprouts give you reason to celebrate.
- Garlic Aioli
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (omit if you do not eat kitniyot)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 3 cups canola or vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt, to taste
- Sicilian Hot Sauce
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 fresno chilies, seeded and finely chopped
- 10 salted anchovy filets (Sicilian is preferable)
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Brussels Sprouts
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and quartered
- 3 quarts canola or vegetable oil (or enough to fill half of a medium sauce pot)
- 2 cups garlic aioli (above)
- 1 cup Sicilian hot sauce (above)
- Sea salt, to taste
- Garnish: ½ bunch dill, picked, and 1 lemon, quartered
- Garlic Aioli: In a food processor, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and mix well. While the food processor is running, add the oil in slowly to emulsify into the ingredients. If the sauce gets very tight, add a tablespoon of tepid water. Once completely incorporated, add the garlic and a pinch of salt to taste. Mix well and adjust seasoning as desired. Put in a container and refrigerate until further use.
- Sicilian Hot Sauce: In a food processor, combine the garlic, chilies, anchovies and chili flakes. Mix well. Add the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix briefly to incorporate (you are not looking for an emulsification, only for a thorough mix). Season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate.
- Brussels Sprouts: Make sure the brussels sprouts are clean and fresh. The bottoms should be just trimmed so the brussels sprout leaves don’t separate completely (once fried, the sprouts should flower out a bit, but not blow apart).
- In a sauce pot, bring the oil to 350 degrees. Be careful here—frying at home can be a bit tricky and messy, so be sure to be safe. Drop the brussels sprouts in the oil in 2 to 3 batches. Don’t crowd the oil. Let the brussels sprouts brown (this will take only 30 seconds). Remove the sprouts from the oil and drop onto a plate lined with a towel to catch the residual oil. Season with sea salt immediately.
- Once all the brussels sprouts are fried, spread the garlic aioli on the bottom of a large plate and add the brussels sprouts on top. Drizzle the Sicilian hot sauce over the brussels and sprinkle the dill over them. Garnish with lemon wedges.