We love the salty goodness that pork fat adds to sautéed Brussels sprouts, but coating these tiny cabbages with olive oil and blasting them in a hot oven gives them a crispier golden exterior and a perfectly soft interior. Mix in some toasted almonds and salty cheese and serve them with a beautiful pork roast instead.
What to buy: Pecorino Ginepro, not to be confused with Pecorino Romano, is an Italian sheep’s-milk cheese flavored with balsamic vinegar and juniper. An unaged Manchego or other mild, firm sheep’s-milk cheese works well, too.
1/2 cup whole almonds
1 1/2 pounds medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem
1/4 cupolive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Pecorino Ginepro or unaged Manchego cheese, broken into jagged 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
Heat the oven to 500°F and arrange a rack in the middle. While the oven is heating, place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 4 to 6 minutes. Coarsely chop and set them aside (reserve the baking sheet).
Place the Brussels sprouts and oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Arrange the Brussels sprouts cut-side down in a single layer on the reserved baking sheet (reserve the bowl). Roast, stirring about halfway through the cooking time, until browned and just tender, about 20 to 25 minutes total. (If your Brussels sprouts are small, check them after 10 minutes and adjust the cooking time as necessary.)
Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the reserved bowl and set them aside to cool for 5 minutes. Add the toasted almonds, cheese, and lemon juice and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.