Brussels Sprouts with Hazel Nuts

3 lb. brussels sprouts
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
3/4 cup shelled hazelnuts
12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
Fresh lemon juice, to taste


Cut or pull off any dry outer leaves from the brussels sprouts. Trim away any brown bits or spots, and slice off the dry stem end. Cut a small X about 1/8 inch deep into the stem of each brussels sprout.

Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add large pinches of salt and sugar and the brussels sprouts. Boil until the sprouts are bright green and tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again.

In a dry large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts, stirring them to color evenly, until the skins char in places and begin to split and flake, about 10 minutes. Pour the nuts into a clean kitchen towel and roll the towel around them. Rub the nuts against one another inside the towel to remove the skins. Do not worry if some bits of skin remain. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and chop coarsely; you want an uneven mixture of some hazelnut halves and some small pieces.

Return the hazelnuts to the fry pan over medium-low heat and lightly toast the skinned nuts for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the butter and let it melt. Season with salt and pepper and add the brussels sprouts, tossing to coat them with the butter and hazelnuts and to heat through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 8
from Williams Sonoma.