To create stovetop Brussels sprouts that were deeply browned on the cut sides while still bright green on the uncut sides and crisp-tender within, we started the sprouts in a cold skillet with plenty of oil and cooked them covered. This gently heated the sprouts and created a steamy environment that cooked them through without adding any extra moisture. We then removed the lid and continued to cook the sprouts cut sides down so they had time to develop a substantial, caramelized crust. Using enough oil to completely coat the skillet ensured that all the sprouts made full contact with the fat to brown evenly from edge to edge.
Look for Brussels sprouts that are similar in size, with small, tight heads that are no more than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, as they’re likely to be sweeter and more tender than larger sprouts. Parmesan cheese can be substituted for the Pecorino, if desired.
1. Arrange Brussels sprouts in single layer, cut sides down, in 12-inch nonstick skillet. Drizzle oil evenly over sprouts. Cover skillet, place over medium-high heat, and cook until sprouts are bright green and cut sides have started to brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Uncover and continue to cook until cut sides of sprouts are deeply and evenly browned and paring knife slides in with little to no resistance, 2 to 3 minutes longer, adjusting heat and moving sprouts as necessary to prevent them from overbrowning. While sprouts cook, combine lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl.
3. Off heat, add lemon juice mixture to skillet and stir to evenly coat sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer sprouts to large plate, sprinkle with Pecorino, and serve.