Yield: about 10-15 servings depending on the size of the stalk of sprouts
- 1 stalk Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 2 Tbs. butter
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Toast the hazelnuts until the skins are cracking and the nuts fragrant and brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Rub in a towel, to remove loose bits of the skin. Not all of it will come off, which is fine. Once you have separated the nuts from loose skin, crush them. You can do this with the bottom of a pan, or in small batches in a mortar and pestle, or with a meat pounder or rolling pin—what you want is irregular pieces that don’t look cut.
Snap the sprouts from the stalk. Trim any discolored leaves, and cut any heavy base part that feels thick and hard off. Take a paring knife and cut an X in the base of each, about 1/4 inch deep. This helps them cook evenly.
Place the butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 cup water in a pot. Add the Brussels sprouts, and cover the pot. Steam over high heat until the water has evaporated and the sprouts are tender. Remove to a bowl, toss with the nuts, and serve, adjusting the salt if more is needed, and adding some freshly ground black pepper, to taste.