Chef Bryan Voltaggio is a family man and father of three, he was born and bred in Frederick, Maryland and still lives there today. His Thanksgiving cast-iron pan-fried brussels sprouts with pickled raisins and sunflower seeds (available in his cookbook HOME) is the perfect side dish for your holiday meal. And hey, if you're not in the mood to cook, head to one of this six restaurants in the DMV!



⅓ cup / 55 grams golden raisins

¼ cup / 56 grams water

2 teaspoons / 10 grams rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons / 12 grams honey

¼ teaspoon / 1.5 grams fine sea salt


6 tablespoons / 84 grams canola oil

½ teaspoon / 2 grams pimentón

(Spanish smoked paprika)


1 teaspoon / 5 grams Pimentón Oil

¼ cup / 25 grams unsalted raw sunflower seeds

Tiny pinch of fine sea salt


4 cups / 900 grams Brussels sprouts

5 tablespoons / 70 grams Pimentón Oil

½ teaspoon / 3 grams fine sea salt


Make the Golden Raisin Pickle:

Put all of the ingredients in a microwave- safe bowl and stir to blend. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and let cool to infuse. Golden Raisin Pickle may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Make the Pimentón Oil:

Put the canola oil and pimentón in a small pot set over medium heat. Stir well and let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oil warms and the spice becomes fragrant. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve lined with paper towels. Once all the oil has dripped into your container, squeeze the towels to yield any remainder. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Toast the Sunflower Seeds:

Put the Pimentón Oil in a small sauté pan set over medium heat. Once it warms enough to move rapidly across the pan, add the sunflower seeds and the salt. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the seeds are slightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

Make the Crispy Brussels Sprouts:

Fill a large bowl with cold water and use it to thoroughly clean your Brussels sprouts in the sink. Drain and cut the hard stem off each sprout and slice in half lengthwise. Pat them dry with clean kitchen towels.

Take a sheet of aluminum foil and fold over the edges to make a lid for a large (14-inch) cast-iron skillet. Set the skillet over your largest burner and turn the heat up to medium. Add the Pimentón Oil, tilt the skillet to coat the bottom, and put your Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in the pan.

Season with the salt and cover with the foil lid. Cook for 15 to 17 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. You may have to do this in batches or in 2 pans. Do not overcrowd the pan or the Brussels sprouts will not get crispy. Add the Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Golden Raisin Pickle and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and serve immediately.