sprouts salad

February 7, 2011 § 12 Comments

Look, I made green things! Now, don’t be alarmed. Although this seems wildly out of character, this salad is in fact a perfect match for me because of two important characteristics: firstly, it is delicious; and secondly, it is highly fattening.

I went to a potluck recently where I was specifically requested to bring a salad-y thing, in an effort to avoid those standard potluck situations where everyone brings cookies and no one brings vegetables and then everyone feels sick after. I had trouble at first though, trying to think of a salad that seemed winter-appropriate. The ground is still covered in snow, I’m wearing three sweaters as I type this, and salad greens are not high on anyone’s list of things to eat.

Once I expanded my definition of the word salad, though, the options were endless. I roasted brussels sprouts at high heat, toasted spiced pecans, and threw in a handful of gruyère, making a hearty winter dish that is both filling and contains vegetables! It was at room temperature, so I declare it to be a salad. It also vanished pretty quickly at the potluck, so salad or not, it’s definitely worth making.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Spiced Pecans

The quantities are a bit approximate: aim for the sprouts/nuts/cheese ratio that will make you happiest. Also, this dish would be great served warm; just leave out the dressing.

Salad:

    2 pounds brussels sprouts
    olive oil for drizzling
    pinch salt
    3 oz gruyère, diced
    1 1/2 cups pecans
    1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Dressing:

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    pinch sugar

Preheat oven to 450°F and position rack in upper third of oven. Trim ends of brussel sprouts and cut in half. Toss with olive oil to coat, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, then arrange on baking sheet with cut sides down. Roast until browned and tender, 20-25 minutes.

Lower heat to 325°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss pecans with vegetable oil. In a small bowl, mix sugar, cayenne, and salt, then add to pecan mixture and toss to coat. Scatter on baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

For dressing: mix oil and vinegar with sugar to taste. In a large bowl, combine cooled sprouts, pecans, and gruyère. Add as much dressing as you like; there’s already oil on the nuts and sprouts so you may only need a little.

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