Brussels Sprouts With Pecorino and Thyme

2 tablespoons salt
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, any tough or discolored outer leaves removed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped, fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces pecorino Romano, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a pasta pot. Set up an ice bath nearby.

When water comes to a boil, add the salt. Drop Brussels sprouts into boiling water and, when water returns to boiling, cook for 3 minutes. Then drain Brussels sprouts and plunge them into ice bath. Once they have cooled, drain, trim off tough ends and cut sprouts in half lengthwise.

In a 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the thyme leaves and cook until they are crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add Brussels sprouts to pan (they will cause a spattering ruckus) and cook over medium heat until they are tender and starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes.

Add the pecorino cubes and cook, stirring gently, until cheese starts to melt around edges, about 3 minutes. Season with the black pepper and serve immediately.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

— Recipe from "Molto Batali," by Mario Batali.

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