Friday, November 4, 2011

Brussels Sprout Salad from Mixt

A couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves in Bend, Oregon.  At Ginger's Kitchen Shop, I was immediately drawn to their small but amazing selection of cookbooks, many of which I'd never seen before.  Lots of new cookbooks are coming out that use just simple, fresh, unprocessed foods ... and few to no bloating grains, legumes or pastas, which we have been eschewing for some time.  (For some weird reason, I love the word "eschew" when it comes to things not eaten!)

So it was a marvelous treat to page through Mixt, a salad cookbook by Andrew Swallow.  My Schreiber and Sons Brussels sprouts were, I knew, waiting at home ... and I couldn't wait to get there and make this salad!

Adapted from Mixt, by Andrew Swallow

Pomegranates hadn't quite hit the grocery stores when I made this, so I substituted fresh raspberries.  But pomegranates are here now!  Be sure to save your healthy bacon fat for use in other dishes.

1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts (yield 9 ounces leaves when separated)
8 strips uncured bacon, preferably from pastured pork, cut into 1-inch pieces; use 1/2 inch chunks if bacon is thick
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons salted butter or ghee
1 organic Fuji apple, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 white turnip, julienned

Cut off the bottom of each sprout and peel off the leaves.  I ended up with gorgeous little sproutlet hearts; use those, too!

Heat a pot of salted water to boil, and prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Blanch the sproutlet hearts for 1 minute; add to them the sprout leaves and blanch for 2 more minutes.  Drain quickly and throw sprouts/hearts into the ice water.   Set aside.

In medium skillet, fry bacon until perfectly crisp but not crumbly.  Transfer bacon to a small bowl and set aside.  Drain the bacon fat and reserve for other uses.  Add butter or ghee to skillet and melt, then add sage and saute for a minute to flavor the butter.  Turn off heat.  Add mustard and vinegar, then whisk well.

Assemble salads:  In serving plates, place sprout leaves/hearts.  Add apple slices and toss.  Drizzle vinaigrette over.  Season with salt and pepper, and add bacon, pomegranate seeds (or raspberries) and turnips.

Serves three as a main course, four as a side.

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