This past week our family was in the charming town of Franklin, Tennessee, for our daughter’s wedding and before heading home, we stopped in for dinner at Gray’s on Main, a trendy restaurant housed in an historic building circa 1876. Gray’s was once a pharmacy, but now “honors the heritage of Tennessee’s culture through soulful sounds, traditional flavors and vintage spirits”. I had the Southern Chop with jalapeño cornbread stuffing and peach chutney — it was fabulous — but I was particularly impressed with the Brussel Sprouts appetizer. So, today I’m sharing my version of Charred Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli. They’re not quite Gray’s, but they’re pretty darn good!
I started by trimming the Brussel Sprouts and slicing them in half length-wise. To jump start the cooking, I steamed the Brussels in a microwave basket for three minutes and then finished them off in a hot cast iron skillet in which I had sautéed some cracked black pepper in melted butter. To get the nice char, I placed the Brussels in the hot skillet cut side down to let them finish cooking.
Before serving, I sprinkled the Brussels with a few bacon bits and drizzled them with my own version of a zesty garlic aioli. I can’t decide if this recipe should be categorized as an appetizer, a side dish, or even the whole meal! Since I was home alone working on recipe development, it is very possible that I may have eaten these as my entire meal! Oops! I guess that’s one of the hazards of being a food blogger!
When serving these, you might want to reserve a little aioli for extra dipping on the side because it is just that good! And, if you’re ever in Franklin, I highly recommend that you stop by Gray’s on Main. The atmosphere is both historic and trendy, the service is great, and the food is absolutely delicious. Check out Gray’s Facebook page for their menu and live music schedule.
Charred Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Aioli
- 1 lb. Brussel sprouts trimmed and cut in half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt to taste
- 2 slices bacon fried and crumbled
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 pinch salt
- Prepare the aioli by combining the mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl. Add salt to taste and refrigerate.
- Rinse Brussel sprouts and pat dry. Trim stems and cut each in half lengthwise.
- Place into the basket of a microwave steamer with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Remove from steamer to stop the cooking.
- Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add freshly ground pepper and stir until just sizzling.
- Add Brussels to the skillet in a single layer, cut side down. sprinkle with salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about five minutes. Remove lid and continue cooking for 5 more minutes or until soft and lightly charred on the cut side. Add crumbled bacon and stir.
- To serve, drizzle with half the aioli, reserving the rest for extra dipping, if desired.