Have you ever eaten something that haunts you long after the fact? About a year ago I had a raw brussels sprout salad in a restaurant. I am pretty sure it was Pizzeria Libretto but If it was there it doesn't seem to be on the menu anymore. It was kind of rich and cheesy but with a really light, bright vinaigrette and it happened to be the first time I had eaten raw brussels sprouts. We eat roasted brussels sprouts so often that I wouldn't be shocked if I woke up to find that I had started sprouting little leaves on all of my limbs like the kid in The Odd Life Of Timothy Green.
Anyway, since eating that salad, I haven't been able to stop thinking of it. Of course, I have also never tried to make it at home either, but that doesn't change the fact that despite my pining for it, clearly I was waiting for someone else to make it for me again and that didn't appear to be working out for me. I found myself with a handful of sprouts left in the fridge - not enough to cook them as a side dish but too many to toss. Hey, I thought, why not try to replicate that salad? I had a look around the internet and decided that this recipe from Shutter Bean, sounded like the closest to what I had eaten. I changed the nuts to almonds because I prefer them, used walnut oil because I am loving walnut oil right now and although I liked the idea of Shutter Bean's walnuts, I didn't want the actual nut so the oil seemed to be a good compromise. I also used a different vinegar and a different mustard. Basically it's the same but much different. I think that the next time I make it I might throw in a handful of crispy, fried cubes of pancetta, because bacon is always a great idea, right?
Bottom line is that it is absolutely delicious and I predict that we will be eating this often in the coming months. I served it over lightly dressed mixed greens but it's just fine on it's own. Actually, I would like to run naked through a bowl of this salad but that require leaving leftovers so, fortunately for everyone, this will not likely happen.
Brussels Sprout Saladadapted from Shutter Bean
12 brussels sprouts, washed
1/2 cup toasted almond slices
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
3 1/2 tbls canola oil
1 tbls walnut oil
1 1/2 tbls white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey dijon mustard
The sprouts need to be shredded and the best way to do that is on a mandoline set to a really thin setting. If that freaks you out, you can slice them with a knife.Put the shredded brussels sprouts, cheese and almonds in a big bowl.Mix the oils, the white balsamic, honey dijon and salt - I do it like she does and throw it all in a small glass jar and give it a good shake.Pour the vinaigrette over the sprouts/almonds/cheese and toss well. It was delicious right away and just as great the next day when I ate the leftovers for lunch.