It's November and it finally, finally feels like fall here. It's officially cool enough for sweaters, and for the past week and a half it has poured, poured, poured rain, the kind of chilly cold rain that makes you want to stay inside and wear fuzzy socks and stir a big pot of beef-prune tagine all afternoon long. (And yes, that's exactly what I did.)
Thanksgiving is this coming week, and admittedly I have done no planning. We'll be staying in a house in Provence and we plan to go to the markets on Thursday morning and just play it by ear. In thinking about what to serve, I realized that there's only one single lonely brussel sprout recipe on this whole site. I usually like to pan-roast brussel sprouts, and for Thanksgiving we often had a roasted then baked in cream brussel sprout dish. However, I first made this shaved brussel sprout recipe last year and it's really stuck with me.
First things first - shaving brussel sprouts on a mandoline is a huge pain. But you get a great delicate fluffy texture that totally transforms the sprouts into something new. I first had a dish like this in Portland, Maine, and I have to say even someone who really likes brussel sprouts was surprised they could taste so good raw. The rest of the salad is easy, some toasted pecans, a hint of cheese, and a simple dressing, and you're all done. For Thanksgiving, where so many dishes are so heavy, I like that this fall vegetable dish is light but still full of flavor.
More Thanksgiving ideas from the archives:
Roast Turkey with Pomegranate Gravy
Tamarind-Glazed Pearl Onions
Roast Cauliflower with Tahini, Almonds, and Pomegranate
Bulgur Pomegranate Walnut Salad
Flaky Sesame Rolls
Lida Lee's Cornbread Dressing
Apple-Cranberry Crumble Pie
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Pecans
This is one of those recipes that don't really need specific amounts- you can make as much or as little as you want as long as you keep things in proportion. If you want to make this ahead of time, combine the shaved sprouts, pecans, and cheese up to one day ahead. Then dress the salad before you want to serve it.
3/4 lb brussel sprouts
1/2 cup pecans, broken into small pieces and toasted in a pan with a bit of butter
3 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon mustard
salt, pepper to taste
1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon, and mustard and set aside.
2. Using a madoline or slicer, shave the brussel sprouts. Hold each sprout by its stem end and shave, being very careful of your fingers. Discard the stem ends of the sprouts.
3. Transfer shaved brussel sprouts to a bowl and stir in the pecans and cheese. Add the dressing to coat- you may or may not need all the dressing, use your judgement. Season well with salt and grind some pepper over. I find this salad is best served about 30 minutes after it has been dressed.