This is a really lovely way of cooking sprouts - they get a little colour and flavour in butter, but retain a some bite so they're nothing like those soggy things of our childhood nightmares. The thyme and honey give them a fresh floral lift while the almonds add a salty crunch. It's super easy to make and great way to use up any sprouts still hanging around. Brilliant as a side with some roast meat or as a warm salad before the main event.
Serves 6 as a starter or side
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a splash
50g flaked almonds
½ bunch of thyme, leaves picked
½ garlic clove
2 tablespoons floral honey
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
500g brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and halved lengthways
Make the almonds first. Melt the butter and a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat and as soon as it begins to bubble, stir in the almonds and 1 teaspoon of sea salt and gently swirl as they begin to turn golden, about 1-2 minutes (take care not to burn them, as this can happen quite suddenly). Transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
Mix the dressing next. Place the thyme and a pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar and when it begins to break down, add the garlic and bash until you have a green paste. Stir in the honey, followed by half the lemon juice and the extra-virgin oil. Season a little. You should have a lovely bright green dressing.
Using the same frying pan you used for the almonds, heat the remaining olive oil over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the sprouts, and fry for about 5 minutes, turning them over occasionally, until golden on both sides. Add 2 tablespoons of water, season generously with salt and pepper, then cover and turn the heat down to low for another 2 minutes. The liquid should have evaporated and the sprouts cooked, but still al dente in the middle. Squeeze in the juice of the remaining ½ lemon and swirl everything around in the pan. Check and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer the warm sprouts to a large plate, then sprinkle over the almonds and drizzle over the thyme dressing before serving.