Friday, October 21, 2011

Shredded Sprouts Salad

brussels sprouts

I have always been terrified of brussels sprouts.  They just don't sound good, and until recently they've only been featured as a weird ingredient on the menu that no one really orders, like liver and onions.  But these little veggies, they've made a comeback!  And with good reason, they're actually delicious!

brussels sprouts

My mom makes a brussels sprouts recipe where she keeps them whole and then cooks them in bacon fat.  I much prefer the shredded version.  When it's whole, the outside gets cooked and caramelizes but the inside often remains a bit raw.  Raw brussels sprouts have a very strong cabbage flavor, which is probably the flavor that gave these babies a bad rep in the first place.  So step 1 in making them delicious - shred your sprouts.

brussels sprouts

Of course, everything tastes better with bacon.  Step 2 is to fry them up in bacon fat.  Sprinkle back in the crumbled bacon.  You won't be sorry.  Even 1 piece of bacon in the whole batch goes a long way.  If you don't eat pork, use turkey bacon and fry them in butter or oil, still does the trick.

brussels sprouts with bacon and asiago cheese

Step 3 is balsamic vinegar.  It gives the perfect bit of acidity while adding some sweetness to the sprouts. Sprouts need balsamic.  They were meant to be together.

Finally, cheese.  Like bacon, everything tastes better with cheese.  Asiago is fantastic because its a little salty and it's plenty hard to grate in easily.  I'd like to say you can never have enough cheese, but a little goes a long way here.

brussels sprouts

This recipe is my favorite vegetable side dish, maybe ever.  I can gobble up a whole batch on my own.  I almost never make a dish more than once (I love trying new things) but I've made this probably 5 times now and I'm dreaming about making it again tonight.  Even the Monkey Scientist, who claims to hate brussels sprouts, loved this dish.  Leave it to Jessica, a self-proclaimed veggie hater, to bring me the best thing to happen to brussels sprouts since...well ever.  Now go home and make these, you won't regret it!

chorizo-style pork chops and brussel sprouts

Shredded Sprouts Salad
from How Sweet Eats

2 cups whole brussels sprouts
1/2 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
1 slice bacon, fried and crumbed
1/2 ounce grated asiago cheese

1. Cutting the stems off of the brussels sprouts.
2. Add sprouts to a food processor and pulse until sprouts are tiny shreds. Do it manually so you can control the size of the shreds. You want some larger pieces and you don’t want them to be crumbs!
3. Melt butter or heat up bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shredded sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until sprouts are browning. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper while stirring and make sure sprouts are all coated. Saute for another 1-2 minutes. Remove and plate.
4. Top with crumbled bacon and a small sprinkling of asiago cheese. Devour!

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