Slow braising green vegetables in healthy amounts of oil and stock, like green beans and okra, is quite common throughout the Middle East. Here we apply this technique to brussel sprouts, with plenty of lemon and herbs to reintroduce some freshness and vibrancy.
6 people as a side
1kg brussel sprouts, washed well, halved lengthways
12 garlic cloves, peeled
1 green chilli, poked a few times with a small knife (15g)
150ml olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped (360g)
250ml vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 lemons; 2 tsp finely grated zest, 3 tbsp juice
10g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
10g dill leaves, roughly chopped
10g parsley, roughly chopped
40g preserved lemon (about 1-2), insides discarded and skin julienned
Salt and black pepper
1. Place a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, on a high heat. Once smoking, add a quarter of the brussel sprouts, and cook for about 5 minutes, tossing the pan occasionally, until charred in places. Transfer to a tray and continue in batches with the remaining brussel sprouts. Add the garlic and chilli to the pan and cook in the same way, until charred all over, about 5 minutes, then add to the brussel sprout tray. Set aside the pan to cool slightly.
2. Add 105 millilitres of oil to the pan and place on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden-brown. Add the charred brussel sprouts, garlic and chilli, the stock, 1¾ teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway, until the sprouts are very soft. Off the heat, stir through the lemon zest and juice.
3. When ready to serve, stir the herbs, preserved lemon and remaining 3 tablespoons of oil into the brussel sprout mixture. Transfer to a shallow serving plate and serve warm, or at room temperature.