Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Slaw

I've always thought Brussels sprouts being plural is kinda weird.  It never dawned on me to think that they were named after that great city in Belgium, where the cabbage has origins.  Duh.  Honestly, I'd rather have their beer.  Tripel Karmeliet and Westmalle are two of my faves.  Very tasty, and quite strong...just look at me after exiting a brewery in Belgium.  In love with that funky yeasty flavor.  And feeling quite good. 

There's a lot of haters out there of Brussels sprouts.  They don't taste good, they have a sulfurous malodor, etc.  I didn't eat them for the first 32 years of my life, they were famously named the only food banned from my household growing up.  Not until one holiday did I begin to enjoy them, sauteing them in bacon fat sure helped bring me around.  Since then, I've enjoyed them roasted (deliciously caramelizes the little guys) and even raw, as in this slaw.  If you don't have a mandoline to shave them, you'll need some knife skills to slice them thinly.  Raw veggies are the most nutritious, as cooking does degrade some nutrients in vegetables.  Don't be afraid of eating them raw!  The lemon vinaigrette is lovely to cut through any bitterness you might expect from uncooked Brussels sprouts.  This is a wonderful winter side dish that is super healthy, exactly the type of thing I like eating about this time of year, cause I just pounded half a sheet pan of nachos during that football game last week. 

Brussels Sprouts Slaw
4 servings as side

1 lb Brussels sprouts (about 3 C)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 TB lemon juice (fresh of course!)
1 ts honey
1 ts whole grain mustard
pinch S&P
1/3 C EVOO
1/3 C toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 C parm or pecorino romano

Set up your mandoline to cut super super thin.  Grab a sprout, peel back the outer layer and fold towards the root end, shave carefully on the mandoline blade.  Stop before you get to your fingertips, that would not be tasty or good for you.  You don't want to eat the outer layer or the root end, so it's a nice little holder while slicing the yummy part.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the lemon juice, honey, and mustard.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Slowly add about a third cup of EVOO, whisking to emulsify.  Taste for your preferred level of acidity and seasoning- add more oil or S&P if desired. 

In a serving bowl, combine the shaved Brussels sprouts and red onion.  Toss in the nuts, then the vinaigrette and most of the cheese.  Using clean hands, toss gently to mix everything up.  Serve immediately and top with a bit of remaining freshly shaved parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano.  Serve with some protein and a fruity, yeasty Belgian beer. 

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