This is a simple and delicate dish--bright with lemon zest and juice. There's a little time involved in peeling the Brussels sprout leaves, but the texture is divine and the cooking is quick. I trust that it will make you rethink this stalwart vegetable, too.
Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts with a paring knife. Use your fingers to peel off the outer leaves of each of the Brussels sprouts (composting any yellowed or dried ones) and put them into a pile. When you can't remove any more of the leaves, trim the ends again and repeat the peeling off of outer leaves until you're left with the compact core.
Slice the cores of the Brussels sprouts 1/4-inch thick and put them into a separate pile near the stove.
Melt the butter in a small dish in the microwave and toss well with the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced cores of the Brussels sprouts and cook, shaking the pan now and then, until they begin to brown, 4-5 minutes.
Add the breadcrumbs and cook, shaking or stirring, until they are toasted and begin to crisp. Add the remaining Brussels sprouts leaves and lemon zest and toss well to coat the leaves in the oil and bread crumbs until they begin to turn darker green and wilt, 1-2 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice over the Brussels sprouts, toss well and taste for salt before serving.
Feel free to embellish these with grated parmesan, a sprinkling of dried chili flakes or toasted walnuts.