The bright flavors of this quick sauté make converts of those people who say they don’t like Brussels sprouts. You can leave out the capers if you like, but they really do add a nice crunch and burst of flavor.
2 poundsBrussels sprouts, trimmed, large ones cut in half lengthwise
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoonkosher salt
6 tablespoons reserved olive oil from the fried capers
1/2 cupdry vermouth or water
1 tablespoonsherry vinegar
For the fried capers:
Drain the capers in a colander or strainer and press down on them to squeeze out any excess moisture. Lay them on paper towels to dry a bit. Pour the oil into a small, heavy skillet over medium-high heat; it should be about 1/4 inch deep. When the oil is shimmering, almost smoking, add the capers and fry, stirring, until they open up like flowers and brown. Remove the capers from the oil and place them on several layers of paper towels to drain. Reserve the olive oil for cooking the Brussels sprouts.
For the Brussels sprouts:
Fit a food processor with the slicing blade. With it running, drop the Brussels sprouts down the feed tube to thinly slice them. (Use the hopper to push the sprouts through—it creates better slices.) Alternatively, you can use a mandoline or a sharp knife to thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Mash the garlic and salt into a paste in a mortar and pestle or with a chef’s knife on a cutting board.
Heat 2 large (12-inch) frying pans over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have 2 pans, you’ll have to do this in 2 batches.) When the pans are hot, spoon half of the reserved olive oil and half of the garlic paste into each. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the Brussels sprouts and toss them gently until they are coated with oil, and then let them sit undisturbed for about 1 minute, so that they crisp and brown slightly. Toss again and cook for about 1 minute more. Pour in the vermouth and stir-fry until the Brussels sprouts are crisp-tender but still bright green, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Consolidate the Brussels sprouts into one pan and place them over medium-low heat to keep warm. Add the fried capers to the pan, then add the vinegar, toss, taste, and correct the seasonings. Transfer to a big, pretty bowl and serve hot.