I’ve always been a little late to catch onto the hottest trends and fads. I’m now seeing that this applies to food too. My taste buds haven’t fully gotten on board with the uber trendy brussels sprouts that can be found on just about any menu here in oh-so-hip brooklyn. I work at a restaurant where a heaping bowl of pan seared brussels sprouts is the most popular item on the menu. It makes me happy that these nutrient loaded little gems can outsell fries as a side dish! Now I just need to find a way to prepare them that I love.
I can enjoy roasted brussels sprouts in small amounts, but I haven’t gotten to level of most who can easily devour an entire plate. I was thinking about what it is that keeps me from loving them, and I think that there are some things that I prefer raw more than cooked. Cabbage and broccoli are two vegetables I feel this was about; brussel sprouts are in the same brassica family so why not apply the same principle to these little cabbages. This is a raw brussels sprout slaw, and I love it. I’ve always loved slaws and they are a nice alternative to the traditional green salad. The thinner you can slice the brussels the better. I used a japanese mandolin, which is one of my favorite kitchen tools. They are only about 30$ and can be stored in any small nook of the kitchen. They are a great tool to make thin slices of most vegetables and come with several blades that make dressing up a salad with fancy cuts quick and easy.
It’s a good thing that brussels sprouts have gone from being Americas most hated vegetable to it’s most loved side dish. Brussels sprouts have several naturally occurring glucosinolate compounds that have proven to fight the growth and development of cancer cells. Brussels sprouts also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound found to boost DNA repair in cells and hinder the growth of cancer cells. In addition, brussels are a good source of powerful antioxidants and vitamins including Vit A, C, K and folic acid. So pile that bowl high and enjoy.
serves 4 as a side
- 1 # brussel sprouts, rinsed
- 1 apple, cut into thin slices
- 2 stalks of scallion, sliced thin on a bias (use the green and white parts)
- ¼ c organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T agave
- 1 t salt
- lots of fresh ground pepper
- honey-cayenne hazelnuts (recipe below)
Thinly slice the brussel sprouts, starting at the tip and discarding the root end. Use a japanese mandolin for this step if you have one. Place brussel sprouts, apple, and scallion in a large bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, using your hands to really coat all the greens if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight. Slaws are almost always better the next day, and this is no exception. The acid in the vinegar helps to breakdown the brussels a little and all of the flavors come together and are absorbed. In the meantime you can make the honey-cayenne hazelnuts.
- ½ cup raw organic hazelnuts
- a nice drizzle of honey (about 1 T)
- pinch of cayenne
- pinch of coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place hazelnuts on a small baking sheet and toast for 5-10 minutes until golden and aromatic. Let cool and remove skins by rubbing the nuts between your hands. Roughly chop the hazelnuts, return to baking pan, and drizzle with honey, cayenne, and salt. Return to oven and bake until golden, bubbly and coated with honey topping, 5-10 minutes.
To assemble, heap the brussel sprout slaw onto a large serving dish, and pour any remaining dressing over the top. Top with hazelnuts and enjoy!