I’m not sure I ever ate a brussels sprout as a child. If I did, I have no memory of doing so. Among the childhood vegetable memories, I vividly remember my mother’s extended stir-fry phase (easy, quick, and low in Weight Watcher’s points), but I can’t imagine sprouts joined the wok party. Bean sprouts, definitely. Brussels sprouts, not so much. I suspect my mother, an excellent cook, didn’t much care for the boiled-beyond-recognition version of sprouts of years past, and generally stuck with the basics - broccoli and green beans and iceberg lettuce - when attempting to feed us our daily veggies.
So I find it amusing that brussels sprouts have leapt to the top of my preferred veggie list. Out goes the theory that childhood food preferences follow us into adulthood. Once roasted brussels sprouts became the rage, I was unabashedly all in. I find them near impossible to resist on a restaurant menu (particularly with some combination of thick-cut bacon or pancetta - for protein, of course). Likewise, they’re my go-to side dish veggie at House Morell gatherings.
While roasted brussels sprouts are decidedly grand, this salad is a nifty alternative to show sprouts some love. Shaved wafer-thin, brussels sprouts make a delicate slaw (which makes sense, as I imagine them as baby cabbage cousins). This is a home version of a salad created by my brother years ago for his Brazilian-inspired restaurant La Sirena Clandestina. (Though I don’t have any brussels sprouts memories from the part of my childhood spent in Brazil either, come to think of it. Are brussels sprouts a thing in Brazil?)
To compose this addictive salad, you need just a few simple ingredients: brussels sprouts, shaved paper-thin (easily done with the slicer blade of a food processor or a mandolin) light springy dill, earthy manchego cheese and Spanish-style Marcona almonds. Tossed with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing, this combination creates a thing of wonder.
This simple little salad will make a welcome addition to your salad rotation. Enjoy!
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Manchego and Marcona Almonds
- 4 cups shaved brussels sprouts (using a mandolin)
- 1/4 cup (packed) fresh dill… picked from the stems – not chopped
- 1/2 cup manchego cheese, shaved
- 1/2 cup marcona almonds (the salted, with rosemary from Trader Joe’s are fab, but plain works), chopped
- Salt And freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2/3 cup excellent quality olive oil
- Whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together to make a dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine the sprouts, dill, manchego and almonds in a large salad bowl.Coat with the dressing, and toss together until all the elements are lightly dressed.
- Place the salad on plates, and sprinkle with a bit of extra manchego and almonds.