Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brussels Sprout & Pecan Salad

I've been really curious about trying a brussels sprout salad, and have heard mixed reviews about raw ones, so I figured a good starting point would be with one that is slightly cooked.

I must admit I was seriously worried while making this. After cooking the sprouts (for what I thought might have been too long), I tried slicing one with my mandoline, and it was just not what I wanted. I decided to slice them a bit thicker by hand with a knife, which was going well, but then I got really nervous about "the smell". You know what I mean...the unpleasant smell of cooked brussels sprouts.
I called out to my husband in the other room and said "Hey, if this dish is a failure I won't be offended!" hoping to alleviate any dinner table awkwardness.
But as soon as I drizzled on the dressing and starting tossing the sprouts around, I regained faith in this recipe.

I must say, I really really enjoyed this. The slightly bitter sprouts with the lemony-mustard dressing and the sweet pecans were all just so happy together. And I was happy to be eating it.

This recipe is originally from Bon Appetit and below is my adaptation.

1 cup of pecans
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup whole grain honey dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pecans on foil lined baking sheet. Whisk maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a bowl. Pour over nuts and toss to coat, then spread in a single layer. Bake 5 minutes, stir, then continue baking until glaze is bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes. Transfer nuts to a plate and separate. Let cool completely.

Whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar together and then whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Add sprouts and cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and cool on paper towels. Slice sprouts thinly, and toss with dressing and let marinate for 30-60 minutes*. Mix in pecans when serving.

*I did not do this because I am apparently bad at planning meals. Mine marinated for maybe 10 minutes, and was delicious. Pin It

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