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Brussel Sprout Salad: Rustic or Refined

My friend Karina got married over a year ago and was itching to pull out her wedding china. Since we both love to entertain, we decided to organize a “Ladies Who Lunch” at her home in the west village. A little networking, a little catching up, great food, and of course — wine.

The menu went like this:

Butternut squash soup with fried sage leaves

Shaved brussel sprout salad with ribbons of carrots and toasted pistachios

Bone-in chicken breasts (from the coup in south Hampton) with lemon, tomatoes, and olives

A side of roasted purple cauliflower

and for dessert, pie 

 

Brussel spout salad

 

I try to keep it simple when I am cooking on a whim in someone else ‘s kitchen, so I dressed the salad with dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.  I sprinkled on some roasted pistachios, crispy bacon lardons, and parmesan.

Back in my kitchen, I wanted to create another version of this salad so I began experimenting with some middle eastern flair;  playing with a Tahini, a sesame seed paste, and Za’ atar, a mixture of herbs like thyme, oregano, dried sumac, salt and sesame seeds.

 

Brussel Sprout Salad

 

 

Shaved sprouts

 

Carrot ribbons

I dressed the carrots with olive oil, lemon and za’atar. And tossed the sprouts with a tahini dressing.  However, the nutty boldness and the denseness of the sesame paste was slightly intense for the delicate shavings of brussel sprouts.

I decided to keep the tahini dressing in the picture, but as a drizzle, and keep the extra for a side of pita dipping — and reserve some for lemon chicken later in the week.

 

Bruusel final

 

So, I began to play again. My goal: to highlight the boldness and of the mediterranean ingredients while showcasing the texture and the earthiness of the brussel sprouts. And this is what I created through my impromptu developing…

INGREDIENTS:

– 1 pound  brussel sprouts, trimmed and finely shaved with a knife or mandolin
-6 medium carrots, cleaned and peeled
-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
-2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
-1 teaspoon of za’atar
-1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
-3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
-a few sprigs of parsley leaves, chopped
-1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
-1/4 cup of roasted pistachios, roughly chopped

Tahini Dressing

– 1/3 cup Tahini paste
-1/4 water
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-1 teaspoon of light agave
– 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
– pinch of red pepper flakes
-a few shakes of hot sauce (not tabasco)

 

METHOD:

Combine tahini paste, water, lemon juice, salt, agave, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, and blend in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set side.

Run vegetable peeler down length of carrots, shaving off long ribbons. Turn the carrot after a few ribbons of each side to keep an even shape while creating ribbons.

In a large bowl, toss the brussel sprouts and carrot ribbons together.

In a small bowl,  whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, za’atar, salt, and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Fold in half of the feta. 

Toss the vinaigrette with the sprouts, carrots, and chopped parsley.  Top with the rest of the feta and sprinkle on the chopped pistachios.

Serve with a side of grilled pita and the tahini dressing.

Final brussel sprouts

 

This recipe can be refined for a plated lunch, or toned down for a rustic snack. This dish is healthy, surprisingly hearty, and a fun twist on a raw salad.


Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)


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