I have made this salad 5 times in the past month. Each time I’ve made it, it’s been slightly different. That’s the beauty of this salad. Although I am providing you with a recipe, think of it more as a guideline and go whatever vegetables look freshest at the market that day. Late September is a perfect time to make this salad. So much fresh local produce is still available.
Chop everything up very small. That way when you take a spoonful you’ll get a bite of everything. This is my favourite way to eat a salad. I kept most of the vegetables raw. The only thing I cooked was the yellow and green beans as I really dislike their taste and texture raw.
Use both the florets and the stems of broccoli. Chopped small, they are perfect for this salad.
Sugar snap peas add sweetness to the salad. Slice them thinly on the diagonal.Brussels sprouts add a pleasant bitterness. Cut them in half and then thinly julienne them.Radishes add crunch and a spicy bite.Yellow and green beans get cut into bite sized pieces after briefly cooking.The last of summer’s corn adds sunny sweetness. Green onions add a sharp note.
To add some bulk to the salad, choose your grain of choice. I love the chewy texture of farro. It provides perfect textural contrast to all the crunch from the vegetables. Add some protein to make the salad a meal. Chicken or chickpeas or some cheese are all good options. I used ricotta salata. You’re in charge here. Make it your own.
The dressing comes together in the blender in seconds. Use about a half a cup of tender mixed herbs. I used a combo of mint, parsley, basil and dill. Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, a few tablespoons of pistachios and olive oil are added and given a blitz. More pistachios for extra crunch are added after the salad is tossed.
On the 6th night of Chanukah I made Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Latkes. I could never make these on the first night of Chanukah. They would not be well received by my family. On the first night our family insists on traditional latkes. (I think it might actually written in Jewish Law somewhere!!). But feel free to let your freak flag fly and make these unorthodox latkes when Chanukah is almost over and everyone has had their fill of classic potato latkes.These latkes are based on a Japanese savory pancake called Okonomiyaki. I learned about them in the November 2016 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. As I read the recipe I was inspired to adapt it and create latkes using these ingredients.The Brussels sprouts must be thinly sliced. The thin slicing blade of the food processor will do the job quickly. A sharp knife will also work. The sweet potatoes need to be cut into 1/8 inch thin matchstick pieces. A mandoline will do this quickly. If you don’t have one, cut the potatoes to fit the feed tube of the food processor and thinly slice potatoes first. Then stack them up and cut across with a sharp knife into matchsticks.
Eggs and flour act as the glue to hold everything together. Fry until deeply golden brown and crispy. Serve them with some chipotle mayo and a squeeze of lime or go traditional and top with applesauce. Savory, deeply crispy and very delicious, these latkes are sure to please even the most die-hard traditionalists.
Leaf peepers everywhere are bummed out that the fall foliage was delayed this year. I’m still walking around without socks, which makes me very happy, because I hate socks. (But I do love a great pair of black tights. They smooth everything out and make me feel so sleek.)
I’m going to pass on pumpkin spice and ease my way into fall with an autumn grain bowl.
While everyone is roasting their broccoli and brussels sprouts, I’m bucking the trend and going raw. I love raw broccoli when the florets are chopped into tiny pieces and the stems are stripped of their woody bark, and the tender core is thinly sliced. Shredded brussels sprouts, pickled red onions, cucumbers, radishes and mint round out the crunch party.The dressing for this grain bowl packs an umami punch, thanks to anchovy paste!I like to dress the vegetables at least 30 minutes before eating to give the salad a chance to marinate and soften up a bit. My grain of choice is farro, but it would be delicious with brown rice, barley, wheat berries or quinoa, if you must! I served the farro on the side and let everyone fill their own bowl. A shaving of Parmesan to top the bowl is an excellent idea.
At this time of year I feel like I have one foot firmly planted in optimism about spring. However, the other foot is dragging quite slowly behind, unable to escape winter’s firm grip. We get a few warm days and the mountain of snow in front of my house melts a bit, and then wham, a mini blizzard.
This pasta bridges the gap between winter and spring perfectly. Representing winter we have browned Brussels sprouts. In the other corner, leeks and lemon lighten everything up. Everything comes together to create a deeply satisfying dish.Trim the Brussels sprouts and set aside the larger leaves that come off easily. Halve the sprouts, or quarter, if large.Slice half the leek into thin rings. Coarsely chop the other half of the leek. The leek circles and halved sprouts get browned in a pan. Place sprouts cut side down and leave them alone for 3-4 minutes, so they can get some colour on them. There’s flavour in the brown!Rigatoni is a great choice for this dish. Penne would also work quite well. Don’t forget to heavily salt the cooking water for the pasta. Just before draining the pasta, scoop off a cup of that starchy cooking water. You will need it to create the sauce for this pasta.An extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of Parmesan cheese finish off this dish perfectly. A glass of wine is always welcome.
In my last post I mentioned a Baby Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad that somehow became tossed aside in favour of Pretzel Crusted Turtle Bars. These things happen, it’s understandable, but today we get down to business with that very virtuous slaw.
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may already know that there is not much love lost between me and kale (or Brussels sprouts, for that matter). I have made friends with cooked kale in a Kale Chicken Sausage and White Bean Soup and I have come to a détente of sorts with maple syrup roasted Brussels sprouts. Kale continues to reign supreme in the nutrition battlefield and I really want to join the troops and benefit from all its goodness.
My main problem with raw kale is the itch factor. It scratches my throat on the way down. But what if I removed the fibrous ribs of the kale and then sliced the leaves thin, like a slaw? I came across a raw kale and Brussels sprouts salad, created by Sue Riedl in her “month of salads” feature in the Globe and Mail newspaper, and was inspired to give raw kale a chance.I was excited when I found some very tender baby kale at the market. I sliced it thinly. I julienned some Brussels sprouts and one large Honeycrisp apple.
Some toasted chopped hazelnuts added a wonderful crunch. Dressed with a honey lemon mustard vinaigrette, the kale and Brussels sprouts really sing! I gilded the lily with some shavings of Parmesan cheese. Everything is better with cheese.I made this for dinner for my husband and oldest (23 year old) son. Neither was enthusiastic when I told them what was in the slaw. My son said, “nope, not gonna eat it.” With some cajoling, they both tried it. My husband declared it “blogworthy” and my son had a second helping. High praise indeed.
The lemon dressing is quite acidic, but it pairs beautifully with the raw kale and Brussels sprouts. The julienned Honey crisp apples add sweetness and the chopped hazelnuts add an amazing textural contrast with their crunch. Finishing the salad off with shaved Parmesan adds a wonderful grace note of umami.