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TIP OF THE DAY: Uses For Raw Brussels Sprouts

At this time of year, Brussels sprouts are in season and many people are debating how to prepare them for Thanksgiving. Our nana and aunt disagreed to the extent that each brought her preferred preparation (one a gratin laden with Gruyère and pancetta, one with a honey balsamic sauce).

But you don’t have to cook Brussels sprouts. You can slice them or remove the leaves (as with cabbage, remove the bottom core first). Then, make:

  • Brussels sprouts slaw with mustard vinaigrette and optional crumbled cheese, or with apple matchsticks, or simply dressed with lemon and olive oil.
  • “Christmas” slaw: Mixed red cabbage and green Brussels sprouts.
  • Pickled, as a condiment for meats or a sandwich topping (how to pickle vegetables).
  • Sandwiches, using Brussels sprouts leaves instead of lettuce.
  •  
    Be sure you buy freshly harvested sprouts. As they age, they develop stronger and more bitter flavors. This applies equally to the sprouts used in cooked recipes.

    To start you off with raw Brussels sprouts, here’s a tasty salad with holiday accents. There’s another recipe below that combines raw Brussels sprouts with raw shaved root vegetables.

    Prep time is 15 minutes.

       
    Raw Brussels Sprouts

    Raw Brussels sprouts salad with holiday accents. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     
    RECIPE: SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CRANBERRIES & TOASTED WALNUTS

    Raw Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and toss in a light vanilla-sage vinaigrette for a salad that’s sure to please during holiday gatherings.

    Ingredients For 5 Servings

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (substitute white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 container (12 ounces) Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (substitute pecans)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WASH, trim and thinly shave the Brussels sprouts.

    2. MIX the oil, vinegar, vanilla and seasonings in small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Add the cranberries; let stand 30 minutes to allow cranberries to soften.

    3. TOSS the Brussels sprouts and walnuts in a large bowl until well blended. Drizzle with the dressing; toss to coat well. Serve immediately.
     

     

    Brussels Sprouts Salad

    Shaved Fall Salad
    TOP PHOTO: Brussels sprouts salad with a
    holiday touch. Photo courtesy Julie Gransee |
    Lovely Little Kitchen | McCormick. BOTTOM
    PHOTO: Shaved fall vegetable salad. Photo
    courtesy GoodEggs.com.

      RECIPE: SHAVED ROOT VEGETABLE SALAD

    This recipe combines raw Brussels sprouts with raw fall root vegetables and some arugula for greenery. It was adapted from a recipe on GoodEggs.com. A bonus: You get to practice your shaving skills on a mandoline.

    Ingredients For 2-4 Servings

  • 1 bunch arugula (substitute baby spinach)
  • 1 watermelon radish, peeled and trimmed (substitute other
    radish)
  • 1 bulb celery root (celeriac), outer skin removed
  • 1 bulb of fennel, trimmed, fronds reserved†
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, leaves separated
  • 1 slow-browning apple*
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (substitute goat cheese)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) apple cider vinegar (substitute red
    wine vinegar)‡
  • Drizzle of honey
  •  
    *Some varieties of apple brown more slowly when their flesh is cut and exposed to air. Look for Ambrosia, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Gala, Ginger Gold, Goldrush, Masonova, Shizuka or SnowSweet varieties. Browning is caused by an enzyme called phenolase, that reacts with oxygen. These apple varieties have much less of the enzyme (or a weaker form of it), so they turn brown very slowly, without having to be dipped in acidified water or other slowing technique. They are natural varieties, not genetically modified like the Arctic Apple, a GMO that was bred not to brown for a very long time.

    †While the fronds come free with the fennel, we had fresh dill on hand and used those fronts instead (see Step 3 below).

    ‡Check out the different types of vinegar.

     
    Preparation

    1. CAREFULLY SHAVE the radish, fennel, apple and celery root on a mandoline. (Depending on the size of the celery root, you may need to cut it in half before shaving.)

    2. ROUGHLY CHOP a small handful of the fennel fronds.

    3. COMBINE the arugula, apple, Brussels leaves, celery root, fennel, fennel fronds and radish and in a big bowl. Dress with the olive oil and vinegar, a drizzle of honey, salt and pepper.

    4. ADJUST seasonings to taste and finish with blue cheese crumbles.

      




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