Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

It is no secret I love to roast vegetables (and fruits) in the oven. It creates such a deep, rich flavor and is so easy to do. But when I roast Brussels sprouts it puts Maddie over the edge. She just can't stand the way it makes the house smell. So I had to find a new way to cook these baby cabbages because I love them. Recently, I had lunch with a dear friend and we shared a fabulous Brussels sprouts salad. The Brussels sprouts had been quickly sautéed. Bingo! That was my answer to having your Brussels sprouts and eating them too, without offending anyone.

I think Brussels sprouts are a dreaded vegetable for a lot of people because they are often overcooked. This recipe just barely cooks them leaving a little bite that keeps them fresh and vibrant. Toss in some crunchy almonds, sweet dried cherries, tart apple and finish with a balsamic drizzle and the flavors explode in your mouth. The balsamic reduction really brings together the flavors. I first used it in the Roasted Tomato and Onion Soup with Balsamic Drizzle recipe. This time I left out the basil, but that version would work as well.

Whether you consider this a salad or a side dish I think it would be a lovely addition to the Thanksgiving table. You will be surprised how people who hate Brussels sprouts won't be able to resist this flavorful dish.

Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts about a 1/4 inch (.635 cm) with a sharp knife. You can use a mandolin slicer, but I think it is easier to cut by hand. Cutting the Brussels sprouts allows them to cook really quickly.

I did not include proportions for this salad except for the Balsamic Drizzle because it depends upon how many Brussels sprouts you want to cook. Just use your eye to judge. An apple will be enough and a generous handful of dried cherries and almonds, too.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Salad with Balsamic Drizzle

Brussels Sprouts
tart apple, cored and thinly sliced
dried cherries
Marcona almonds or blanched almonds
olive oil
salt & pepper
balsamic drizzle

Wash the Brussels sprouts and slice about a 1/4 inch (.635 cm) thick. Put some olive oil in a skillet and sauté over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes to brown the outsides and just barely cook the Brussels sprouts. Remove from the heat toss in apples, dried cherries, and almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil if needed to coat the ingredients. Put on a serving dish and drizzle with balsamic drizzle. Serve. The salad doesn't need to be hot it is fine warm or at room temperature.

Balsamic Drizzle

1 cup (250 ml) balsamic vinegar

Put the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan. Simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to a third of the original amount. (Be sure to use an exhaust fan as the fumes are quite pungent.) It will be thick and syrupy. It will get much thicker after it has been refrigerated. Store left-over drizzle in a glass jar in the refrigerator. (The recipe can be doubled.)

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