Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • RECIPE: Brussels Sprout Salad

    August 21, 2015


    RECIPE: Brussels Sprout Salad

     

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    Did you know that Brussels sprouts were named after Brussels, Belgium where they were first cultivated? Yep. I had to google it. Many people say they hate Brussels sprouts or refuse to even try them. This dish may just convert or recruit them to sprout lovers. If you’re feeding it to picky eaters, I suggest you just call it “lemon cranberry slaw”, or something else innocuous, until they’ve given it an objective try. This sprout salad is another dish that is an excellent choice for a potluck, party or barbecue. Instead of a mayonnaise based dressing I adapted Martha Stewart’s Lemon-Mustard Vinaigrette. This salad is easy to make and just as easy to make a large batch as a small one. It gets even better after a few days, so you can make it ahead and have one less thing to do on the day of your gathering. The recipe can easily be halved if you don’t need to feed a crowd. The first time I made it I shaved a gazillion sprouts one-by-one on my mandoline. While I prefer the shaved version, it is a lot of work. This food processor method is much quicker and easier.

     

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    Brussels Sprout Salad

    2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved
    5-10 green onions, green and white parts
    1 med size bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
    2 large lemons, juice & zest
    4T Dijon mustard
    2T rice vinegar (plain, not “seasoned”)
    2 large cloves garlic
    1 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1T sugar, additional to taste
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup pine nuts, toasted
    Salt & pepper to taste

    Some notes before we get started:

    BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Choose sprouts that look pretty uniformly green without a lot of yellow leaves or black spots. Trim the stem end if it looks a bit dry. If you will be shaving them instead of chopping, look for the largest & tightest sprouts you can find to make the shaving a little easier. If the sprouts don’t look good when you’re ready to make this salad you could substitute cauliflower, broccoli florets & peeled stems, broccolini, asparagus tips & peeled stems, or even bagged pre-cut coleslaw mix. (The “angel hair” shaved variety of coleslaw mix would be my first choice.) 

    GREEN ONIONS: I like a lot of onion in my salads. Normally, I would put several green onions in the blended dressing and add some diced red onion directly to the salad, but I didn’t have a red onion handy when I made it this time.

    CILANTRO: I like cilantro so I use a lot. If you don’t like cilantro you could substitute a big handful of parsley or even a handful of mint leaves.

    DRIED CRANBERRIES: I have only used cranberries in this salad so far, but I have been thinking about some alternative dried fruits that would also work well. Dried apricots (diced), cherries or raisins seem like some good alternatives. Maybe even drained canned crushed pineapple or mandarin orange segments?

    PINE NUTS: While pine nuts are my favorite choice for this salad, they can be hard to find and/or very expensive. You could really use almost any nut or seed that you prefer. Preferably toasted, and chopped if needed. If you are making the salad ahead you may want to wait and add the nuts just before serving to ensure their crispness. I go ahead and add the nuts at the beginning and then often sprinkle some more fresh pine nuts on the salad when serving.

    Okay, now on to the method:

    1. Pulse halved Brussels sprouts in batches in food processor until uniformly chopped. Add to a large salad bowl for mixing.

    2. You can make the lemon Dijon dressing in the unwashed processor or in a blender. Roughly chop 4 of the green onions and the cilantro (leaves & stems), add to processor bowl or blender, and pulse several times to chop. Add lemon juice & zest, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, whole peeled garlic cloves, olive oil and 1T sugar. Process or blend until fairly smooth with no big chunks. Pour over chopped sprouts in salad bowl.

    3. Thinly slice the rest of your green onions and add to salad bowl.

    4. Add dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts. Mix.

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    5. Add salt, pepper and additional sugar to taste.

    6. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to a week.

     

    This entry was posted in Recipes.

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    Author Bio
    Cindy Moore
    Cindy Moore

    Hi, Cindy Moore here. Colleen and I have been friends since we worked together while she was writing Tiger’s Curse. I'm a very creative person and a great problem solver. I love to cook, read, craft, and research random things. I love logic and information and hate not knowing the answer to any given question. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which is sometimes good, sometimes bad. I love DIY and re-purposing things from their intended use.

    How much do I love information and answers? To the extent that I make lists on my phone of things to Google when I have a few minutes with nothing better to do. (Or, more likely, when I'm procrastinating about something I should be doing instead.) Every new thing I learn leads me to about a gazillion more cool new things. SQUIRREL!!! I love sharing new information and ideas with people. You can imagine what a dangerous place the internet is to me in my efforts to be more productive.

    I’ve been cooking since I was a kid and am a Foodie with no formal training but a large cookbook collection and internet access. I am a very picky eater due to some food sensitivities, but I love trying new foods and recipes, so I put my creativity and problem solving skills to good use while adapting recipes to my own personal tastes. I love shopping for exotic ingredients in specialty markets and online and probably have at least 12 different kinds of salt in my kitchen right now…none of which is plain iodized table salt. Given a choice I would always chose an ethnic dish over something like burgers or pizza. Asian cuisines, especially Thai and Vietnamese, are my favorites. I am totally addicted to Thai salad rolls and pork lettuce wraps.

    I’ve made a commitment to myself to reduce the chemicals and unnecessary or harmful ingredients that are in my food, bath and body products, or household cleaning products. I also I tend to think “why buy it if I can make it myself”.

    I love making jewelry, especially with natural materials like stones and fresh water pearls. Dangly earrings are my favorite jewelry item to make.

    I’m not really clear on the concept of “moderation”, nor apparently is Colleen. Nowhere is this more evident than when Colleen and I get together for our marathon holiday bakeathons. We tend to overdo things…slightly.

    All of these interests…”character flaws”?...will influence the kinds of blog posts you see from me.