If you’ve read some of my previous posts you may remember that, on special occasions, one of the gifts I give to those I love is a meal of their choice. They choose the menu and I cook it. Everyone has their favorite dishes and mostly I can guess what the requests will be – Linguine with Clam Sauce is a family-wide favorite, as are my Lamb Shanks, and a killer Tuna and Avocado Ceviche.
Well, as you know, it was Father’s Day this past Sunday, so I asked my husband Michael, what he wanted to celebrate his special day. (I knew corn on the cob would be part of the menu, not because I have any special preparation for it … he just happens to Love corn on the cob.)
He tells me, “Well … I’d like corn on the cob (duh), a nice, little, barbequed steak and that salad you make with those little, green things.” He makes a small circle with his thumb and index finger, “You know, those things I like.”
“Brussels sprouts?” I ask.
“Yeah, those,” he smiles.
I am shocked, didn’t predict that one at all. I once tried to replicate a delicious Brussels Sprouts Salad we often have at a terrific, local restaurant called Chelsea’s Kitchen. I don’t even remember what I did, but clearly Michael had … and he wanted it, so I complied in my best, shoot-from-the-hip, “booke” style. And what do you know, it turned out amazingly well. If I may say so myself, I think it actually rivals Chelsea’s!
Here’s the thing about making a salad out of Brussels sprouts – it’s a bit time consuming because you have to peel all the leaves off those “little green things.”
My suggestion: core the base as best as you can; gently peel off all the leaves you can; then, thinly slice the tight core and use as part of the salad. All good.
Once upon a time, Brussels sprouts were hard to find at the grocer’s but not anymore because this little brassica (think broccoli and cabbage) has been tagged for potent, anti-cancer properties. They are highly alkaline, chalk full of Vitamin C and a good source of fiber, which is great for the digestive tract.
20 sprouts, washed and separated into leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 canned or jarred artichoke hearts, loosely chopped
2 T chopped walnuts
Garlic & onion powders
Seasoned salt, such as Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up
Fresh ground pepper
2 T olive oil
1/4 medium lemon, squeezed juice
Sprinkle of white wine vinegar
2 T cubed feta cheese
After you have painstakingly separated the leaves and sliced the cores of the sprouts, wash in a colander and drain.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sprouts, stir once with a wooden spoon and then immediately drain into the colander, giving the sprouts a quick rinse in cold, tap water to stop the cooking process. (What you’ve just done is called blanching).
Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Once the Brussels sprouts are cool, place in a salad bowl. Add all the other ingredients through to the vinegar. Toss well and taste for more seasoning.
Add the cheese and lightly toss.
Serves two people. Enjoy!
This salad makes a really delicious vegetarian dish and, without the feta cheese, could be vegan, as well. However, if you go for the vegan version, I suggest that, in substitution for the cheese, you add a couple of tablespoons of chopped olives (kalamata or green pimento) to give the salad a little of that picante flavor.
A Brussels Sprouts salad may be a bit more work than you are used to but add a nice glass of cold, crisp, white wine to the endeavor, and you’ll have those “little green things” prepped in no time!
Eat well. Be happy.