Today is Day 3 in my weeklong series of small plates with wine pairings. The wine is St. Supéry Savignon Blanc and we paired it with a healthy green salad just in time for the New Year. Because eating greens at the New Year is a tradition in my house. According to folklore, greens are a stand-in for money, and the more greens you consume right now, the more cold hard cash will come your way in the New Year.
Now just so you know, the ‘green’ I have decided to present here is the much maligned Brussels sprout. Because Brussels sprouts, a member of the cabbage family can be enjoyed in more ways than most greens. Roasted, grilled, braised, fried, sautéed and (if you must) boiled.
How about raw Brussels sprouts? Have you ever had them shaved into thin ribbons and served with a citrus vinaigrette?
Are you still with me? I mention this because I know what you are like. Usually I take a bit of time deciding exactly what I am going to call the recipes I present here. I am no dummy and I know that if it sounds delectable (or contains the word chocolate) then you are far more likely to spend a moment reading the words I write and imagining the food I present here.
But certain foods are so counter-intuitive you just have to check your expectations at the door. In these instances I find it best to trick your interest by using a bit of reverse psychology. Sometimes I try and make things sound worse than they really are. Take today’s salad. Shaved, raw Brussels sprouts. See, I saw you wrinkle your nose in distaste just at the phrase. I mean who wants to eat a veggie that requires shaving, right?
But I have a method to my madness and my reasoning goes like this: If I dare to offer something as unappealing as, say, raw Brussels sprouts, there’s a good chance you will assume they are fantastic. Because if they weren’t wouldn’t I have tarted them up a bit editorially speaking in order to gain and hold your attention. But the fact that I didn’t must mean something right? See now you are intrigued! That’s reverse psychology, and once I spring it on you– you’re trapped.
Because think about it, other than the idea of shaved, raw Brussels sprouts, what’s not to like about a plate of these shredded crucifers? Especially once they are doused with enough good olive oil, citrus juice, toasted almonds and hard-boiled eggs to ensure its sulfurous disposition has no choice but to mellow.
Now just in case you are still a hold out. Let me say this. Brussels sprouts are like mini cabbages (that’s what cricifers are). Don’t we eat raw cabbage, as in coleslaw, all the time? Now you like cole slaw, right?
So put your preconceived notions aside, eat your greens on a path to prosperity. Just be glad I didn’t douse this salad in melted chocolate, because, as you know– I’d do just about any crazy thing to win your approval.
serves 4 CLICK here for a printable recipe
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1⁄4 c extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved
- 20-30 raw brussels sprouts, depending on size
- 1⁄2 c toasted almonds, finely chopped
In a small saucepan, combine the orange, lemon and lime juices and simmer over moderate heat until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature. Whisk in the minced shallot and the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Separate the yolks and whites from the hard boiled eggs. Press them through a potato ricer, separately.
Using a mandoline, carefully shave each Brussels sprout, holding on the stem end. A Teflon glove is a good idea to protect your hand. Toss the shaved Brussels sprouts with the vinaigrette and transfer it to a serving bowl. Top with the egg whites, followed by the yolks and almonds. Serve.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD