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Beyond Bland Brussels

Brussels sprouts make a serious comeback.

ANA VENEGAS/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Brussels sprouts grow on large stalks. Harvest them by starting at the bottom and twisting from the stem.

Once considered a bland, mushy side dish abhorred by children and most adults, this cruciferous vegetable now finds itself on the menu of several trendy restaurants. Think: charred sprout leaves with capers, lemon, shallots, and butter at Newport Beach’s A Restaurant. Or the savory Brussels sprouts tapas with chorizo and almonds at Huntington Beach’s The Black Trumpet Bistro. Or Amar Santana’s tossed Brussels sprouts and Chinese sausage in a sweet and sour sauce served at his Laguna Beach eatery, Broadway by Amar Santana.

Even though it’s wintertime, OC locals can still enjoy this super-healthy vegetable as a salad. Wave bye-bye to overcooked Brussels; and say hello to this refreshing take that can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
Grocery List
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
5 slices of prosciutto  
1/3 cup manchego cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/3 cup honey mustard vinaigrette
1 tsp. parsley leaves
1 tsp. chopped sage

Tools
1 large pot of boiling water, heavily salted
1 ice bath (cold water + ice)    
1 large slotted spoon
1 paring knife

Method
1. Cut off the bottom of each sprout. Remove the green leaves (stop when you reach the yellowish core).
2. In the large pot of boiling salted water, quickly blanch the leaves. Meaning: dunk the leaves in the hot water and once they turn bright green, remove them immediately with a slotted spoon. Submerge them into the ice bath. Once they’ve cooled, drain until dry.
3. Toss the blanched Brussels sprout leaves in the honey mustard vinaigrette. Add the prosciutto, manchego cheese, herbs, and pine nuts. Serve.

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 cup grape seed or vegetable oil

Combine honey, mustard and vinegar. Add oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking until mixture is emulsified.


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