Who would have thought that Brussels sprouts could be so tasty? Cooked briefly then sautéed— the cut face acquires a rich brown— these tiny cabbages make wonderful nutty mouthfuls of flavor. You can dress them up by adding garlic, pancetta, parsley, Parmesan, lemon juice and so on, but sautéed on their own they make delicious morsels.

Makes about 8 servings.

1 pound Brussels sprouts
Approximately 4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Trim off the Brussels sprouts stems and remove any withered outer leaves. Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the sprouts in and lightly boil for 5 minutes, until barely done. Drain the sprouts, drop them in cold water to stop the cooking and drain again; when dry, cut them across in half. (This can be done ahead of time.)

Over medium-high flame, in a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, put in the sprouts cut-side-down in one layer—you will probably need to do this in batches. Let them take on color; when the face is well browned, turn with a spatula. Over lower heat cook a few minutes longer, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally. Put the browned sprouts in a bowl and repeat with the remaining ones, adding oil as needed.

When all the Brussels sprouts are sautéed, stir them all up together in the pan. If they seem dry, add a little water. Cover and let sit for a few minutes. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper.

Recipe by Elizabeth Gawthrop Riely