brussel sprouts salad july 2

I’m a recipe junky. I never met an old magazine I didn’t like. So when I was sitting in a doctor’s office just last month and found this 2 year old Bon Appetit magazine, I quickly went to the recipe section, and found this recipe I thought I should try. Since I am always looking for cold salads to spice up my main courses, I was drawn to this Brussels Sprouts salad with a Walnut Vinaigrette and decided to try it.

My main hesitance about this recipe, was that we were only blanching the brussels sprouts. Out of the thousands of times that I had prepared brussels sprouts, they had always been roasted in the oven, and for a very long time at that! So how were these going to turn out?

Much to my surprise, they came out perfectly, and they will for you, too. Although the blanching and then the subsequent ice bath was quick, they were tender and tasty. This was all due to the preparation. By halving and then removing the core of the brussels sprouts, all the parts of this sometimes tough vegetable became light and easy to manage. You can tell by the photograph, my coring technique needs improvement, but it was my first time coring a brussels sprouts, and I can improve upon it next time I do this recipe, which will be soon.

I loved working with the walnuts. Once crushed and sautéed with that pinch of sugar, the resulting flavor of the salad overall was interesting, worthy of a conscientious home cook, and definite placement in the “will try again” category. Let me know how yours turn out!

Brussels Sprouts with Walnut Vinaigrette

Blanche Brussels sprouts and them shock them in an ice water bath to keep them bright and green and crisp tender.
8 servings
Recipe by the Bon appetite Test kitchen October 2011
Photography by Ellen Walsh
4 cups of brussels sprouts, halved, cored, leaves separated
½ cup walnut halves, divided
2.5 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS walnut oil plus more for drizzling
1 medium shallot, minced
3 TBS plus 2 tsp of champagne vinegar
1 ¼ tsp Dijon Mustard
Pinch of sugar
Parmesan Cheese( for shaving) optional
¾ tsp finely grated lemon zest

Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 30 seconds, drain and immediately transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Spin in a salad spinner to dry leaves, or pat dry. ( this can be done 2 days ahead.) Wrap in a kitchen towel, and transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Chill.
Crush 2 ½ TBS walnuts with a rolling pin. Set aside. Melt butter with 1 TBS oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add shallot and crushed walnuts. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallot softens, about 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Remove vinaigrette from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let vinaigrette come to room temperature before serving.
Place the dried Brussels sprouts in bowl. Pour walnut vinaigrette over Brussels sprouts mixture and toss to coat well. Transfer to a serving dish. Using a vegetable peeler or cheese slicer, shave cheese over brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with lemon zest and remaining walnuts. Drizzle with walnut oil.