Saturday, December 7, 2013

Brussels Sprout Salad Splendor

For most people look forward to Fridays because it's the end of the work week.  I keep a pretty unconventional work schedule, so that isn't always the case.  But I still look forward to Fridays because I get to wake up and read the Cook's Illustrated e-Newsletter.  Each week it highlights 3 or 4 recipes from the archives, many of which I probably would never think of or search for if they didn't show up in my inbox each Friday morning.  I don't always want to cook each and every one of them, but there's usually at least one that strikes my fancy.  Last month this awesome Brussels sprout salad recipe was in the newsletter, and it immediately made the leap to my "Things from Cook's Illustrated to Make" list.  (Yes, there is such a list in my life.)

I finally got around to making the this week, not once, but TWICE because I liked it so much.  On Monday night I made a half recipe for Jordan and my friend Nicko, who came over for dinner.  I devoured the leftovers on Tuesday (they keep fantastically, by the way--no wilty-ness whatsoever).  I used the second half of my big bag of b-sprouts of the bag to make another half recipe of this salad for my parents on Thursday night, and I enjoyed more leftovers on Friday.  It was a big hit with everyone, particularly my dad, who had three generous servings.

While the prep for this salad is slightly time consuming because of all the fine chopping, it comes together quite quickly if you do everything in the right order.  First, make the dressing in the salad bowl, then slice the Brussels sprouts and add them to the bowl and toss them in the dressing.  While the sprouts are resting, toast the nuts, either in a 350˚F oven for about 6 minutes or until fragrant, or in a small pan on the stove over medium low heat (pay attention, they can burn quickly!) Then shred the cheese, and slice the apples.  At this point you can toss everything together, because nothing will become too soft. 

Brussels Sprout Salad with Cheddar, Apples, and Nuts (Adapted from Cook's Country) Makes 8 servings
* 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
* 1 small shallot, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced (I omitted this, mostly due to laziness)
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and sliced very thin
* 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
* 1 or 2 apple, cored and cut into thin pieces

* ½ cup hazelnuts or pecans, toasted, skinned (if using hazelnuts), and chopped

1. Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated, and thickened. 

2. Toss Brussels sprouts with vinaigrette, coating thoroughly, and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

3. Fold in cheddar, apple, and hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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