Friday, November 29, 2013

Never say never!

For the first time in my life, my mom asked me to contribute to Thanksgiving dinner.  I also got to sit at the grown-ups table, which was nice, but I was secretly pleased that I still had a chocolate turkey waiting for me at my plate.

For 29 years I have heard my father lament the times he was forced to eat brussel sprouts as a child.  To this day, he swears he hates them and will not eat them.

In addition to a dessert, my mom asked me to bring a vegetable.

Challenge accepted.

Not a fan of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, I poured over recipes using brussel sprouts in interesting ways.  I brought my dish in its disassembled form, tossed it together just before dinner was ready, and made my dad try it before he knew what it was.  HE LIKED IT!





It really is a winner, folks.  It's fresh and crisp tasting, while having all the bits and bobs that get people interested, like Pecorino-Romano cheese, crumbled smoky bacon, and crunchy almonds.

The recipe calls for you to shave your sprouts with a mandoline.  This is NOT an easy thing to do.  When I make this in the future I am going to try cutting my sprouts in half and pulsing them in the food processor to see if I can get a similar effect without the cost to my fingers and sanity.

Bacon and Brussel Sprout Salad
by Pinch of Yum

Serve 8-14, Prep/Total Time: 40 minuts

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • 4 dozen brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the orange into a bowl with the minced shallot.  Pour the oil into the bowl in a steady stream while whisking to form an emulsion.  (It should appear creamy, not transparent.)  Season with salt and pepper and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Using a mandoline (or any other method you might like), shave the brussel sprouts into thin slices.  Your goal is to make a slaw like texture.

If you use whole almonds (as opposed to pre-sliced), pulse them in a food processor until coarsely chopped.  Add 3/4 of the bacon, cheese, and almonds to your slaw, reserving the rest.  When ready to serve, add your dressing to the slaw and toss well.  Add the remaining ingredients.  If needed, add a bit more oil and toss well.