So, you say you don’t like Brussels sprouts, eh? Well, what if I told you you’re (probably) wrong? Now, before you start cursing me for doubting you, hear me out. Most people have a very boring, outdated, stinky impression of Brussels sprouts. Every day, thousands of Brussels sprouts are physically and verbally abused, and carelessly discarded (I imagine). The problem is that many people who don’t like them have them prepared one way, and, sadly, it’s usually the worst way. Steamed Brussels sprouts are more stinky than they are flavorful and they often end up with a very off-putting mushiness. Many folks try them this way and immediately write them off as “icky”; and rightfully so. What those poor saps are missing is the wonderful earthy flavor and fresh crunch of a well-prepared Brussels sprout. But, not you, my friends. You, wise as you are, know that trying something one way and tossing it forever is closed-minded and just plain silly. So I just know you’re sitting there, chomping at the bit, waiting for me to give you the best Brussels sprouts recipe you’ve ever tried. Well, here it is: shaved Brussels sprouts, pine nuts, and Parmesan salad. Now, go out there and change some minds.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved and sliced thinly (by hand or with a food processor)
- 3 T. fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a Microplane
- 2 T. Dijon mustard
- ½ t. salt
- 6 T. olive oil
- 1 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded or shaved
- 1/2 c. pine nuts
Start out by giving the sliced sprouts a good rinsing. Dry them in a salad spinner, or let them sit in a colander for 10-15 minutes.
Then, in a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and salt. Once combined, start whisking briskly while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. This should result in a nice, thick dressing.
Toss the sprouts in the dressing, coating thoroughly. Now set that aside for about 30 minutes. In that time, the dressing will soften up the sprouts and wilt them slightly; it will also brighten up their color considerably.
While the sprouts are resting, toast the pine nuts. You can do this in a skillet over medium-high heat or in a 375° oven. Whichever you choose, don’t take your eyes off of them. They can burn very easily and in the blink of an eye. Stir them often in a skillet, or after 5 minutes in the oven (and every few minutes after that). They’ll only take a few minutes, a little longer in the oven. You’re looking for a light golden-brown.
After the sprouts have rested, toss in the pine nuts and Parmesan and serve immediately. Like coleslaw, this salad does well in the fridge or a day or two after making.
Try my Cannoli Dip for dessert!