BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD

Are you in need of a fabulous salad that can be prepped ahead and simply tossed together at dinner time?  This recipe is your solution.  Tender Brussels sprout leaves are coated in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette.  Spanish macrona almonds add a crunch factor while Manchego cheese shavings add richness. 

It's a versatile salad that can be transformed with a touch of seasonal sweetness.  Toss in fresh blueberries, sliced apples or cubed pears for a delicious marriage of flavors.  My daughter has even up-cycled leftover salad by serving it with a fried egg on top.  

Please don't skip this step.  After blanching and cooling, toss the brussels sprout leaves in a dishtowel or a salad spinner to remove as much moisture as possible. 

Brussels Sprout Salad

Servings: 4

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup Spanish Marcona almonds, coarsely chopped

1-2 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler

1. In a medium bowl whisk together the honey, vinegar, lemon zest, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add the oil and whisk until emulsified.  Cover and chill.

2. To peel the leaves, cut a 1/4-inch off the bottom end of the brussels sprout.  Remove as many leaves that can be peeled off.  Make another 1/4-inch cut on the bottom end, and remove the remaining leaves.  Discard the core.

3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. 

4. Fill a large bowl with ice and enough water to cover the ice. Set aside.

5. Drop the leaves into the boiling water until they are bright green and barely tender, about 1 minute.  Drain the pot immediately and submerge the leaves in the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove the leaves when completely cooled, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a dishtowel or salad spinner to  remove as much water as possible. 

5. Place the dried Brussels sprout leaves in a serving bowl with the almonds and vinaigrette.  Toss until well coated.  Add the cheese shavings and gently toss.  Serve chilled.  

Do ahead: The vinaigrette can be made 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container. 

The Brussels sprout leaves can be removed, blanched, cooled and dried 1 day ahead.  Wrap in paper towels, place in a releasable storage bag and store in the refrigerator.