Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Pecans with Greens in a Warm Whiskey Mustard Dressing

Brussel sprouts are one of those nutritional powerhouses, part of the cruciferous vegetable family, and chock-full of Vit. A and C, plus a good dose of iron.

April 11, 2012 | | Blogs | Edible Tulip | Food | Recipes | Salads

INTRO to The Salad Series: 50 Salads for Everyday Eating

Welcome to a bit of a revamp of Edible Tulip for the time being. This website over the past seven years has occasionally ventured into left field; luckily I like it over there, in the west wing, and I happen to also love fields. But I lost my focus a while back. I started writing about crazy shit — insect copulation, lunar eclipses gone haywire, the odd disappointing run in with a stranger — but 2012 has kicked off differently. I spent 6 months this past summer digging up my own dirt and writing until dawn. Then I got a great editing job with normal day loving people and I’m back craving the idea of carving words and worlds out of what I know. And as I keep saying, what I know is this: ever since I worked as the head chef at an art retreat centre up near Georgian Bay seven years ago, I seem to have been surreptitiously and unexpectedly changing the world, one person at a time, one work lunch at a time, through salads. Call me nuts, but it’s true.

So, that’s what I’m doing, come hell or high water, I’m writing about arugula and mango and why they’re a perfect match or why a bit of mizuna in a hot sesame dressing may shake your socks off or why toasting fresh corn in a pan will make you a happy satisfied person even if the rest of your life is falling apart. I’m not going to say trust me, but heck, why not? The greatest joys are often found in the smallest gestures. Go back to the wild, my friend. Suss out the truth in food and you will not look back. That, that I do know.

  • Wash your vegetables as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Toss them into the sink, fill it up with water, and soap, let sit, drain, then spin dry everything and put into large ziplock bags. The stuff will keep perfectly for a week and be ready to use when you want it.
  • Another idea, when you buy things like oversized good looking carrots and rustic beets, and have good intentions, but then they get lost with the busyness of life, and the stuff turns limpid in the crisper drawer, here’s a solution: just set aside half an hour one weekend afternoon and get out your food processor with the grating blade. Peel the carrots and beets and then process away. Squeeze out the excess water from the grated vegetables and then store them in a tupperware to add to salad with nuts and dried fruit and salty cheeses all week long! Perfect!

Meanwhile, here’s a salad for you, delicious for fall and winter when Brussels sprouts and nuts are a welcome hearty addition to salad.

This salad makes enough for about 6.

Melt some butter or olive oil in a shallow baking pan in an oven preheated to  400 degrees. Toss about 1 lb of sprouts and 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts in the butter with some salt. Roast until the sprouts are golden and the nuts fragrant, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, organize your lettuces. Winter ones are especially wonderful with the warm sprouts and nuts and the heated dressing. Think frissee and endive, escarole and radicchio. Add freshly chopped herbs like chunks of Italian parsley or leaves of oregano. Salty shavings of pecorino or Parmesan would be good too.

Make a salad dressing that is robust: 1 tablespoon whiskey seed mustard (regular Dijon will do just fine, minus the kick of the whiskey!), 3 tablespoons white wine/tarragon vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup minced shallot (or green onion), ½  teaspoon salt, ¼  teaspoon black pepper. Prepare in a glass jar or ceramic bowl so you can microwave it for 2 minutes before pouring over the salad. I like to serve the dressing hot because it slightly wilts the winter lettuces and it’s a magnificent flavour burst: bitter endive with sweet warm whiskey and the heat of a fine mustard. But if you’re going with traditional lettuces then avoid a warm dressing — it’ll make short shrift of the lettuces and you’ll be left with a soggy mess — and choose a simple oil and white wine or sherry or balsamic vinegar.

Prepare a generous amount of greens in a large wooden serving bowl. Add the roasted but slightly cooled nuts and Brussels sprouts. Heat the dressing and add enough to just coat everything. Keep tossing until absorbed.

Dried cranberries are great here too. As are roasted heirloom colourful beets.

Go for it. Think large. Think wonderful.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Toasted Pecans with Greens in a Warm Whiskey Mustard Dressing

Recipe submitted by: Daphne Randall ( Visit Website )

Serves

6

Type

Salad

Now is the time to commit to eating more greens and reds and purples and experimenting with new vegetables (kohlrabi, daikon radish, napa cabbage, pea sprouts, Jerusalem artichoke...) and perhaps giving old hangups a new chance (brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, zucchini...) then now is it. I have some tips to help you along.

Ingredients

Salad

  • melt some butter or olive oil in a shallow baking pan
  • toss about 1 lb of sprouts and 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts in the butter with some salt
  • organize your lettuces: frissee,endive, escarole and radicchio
  • Add freshly chopped herbs like chunks of Italian parsley or leaves of oregano
  • Salty shavings of pecorino or Parmesan would be good too

Salad dressing

  • 1 tablespoon whiskey seed mustard (regular Dijon will do just fine, minus the kick of the whiskey!)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine/tarragon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot (or green onion)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Instructions

  1. See above

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