Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Freekeh Salad

I haven’t been able to post in ages, but if I don’t post this recipe, I’ll forgot it and I DEFINITELY want to make it again.  This salad is delicious.  It’s complex without be fussy, unusual without being weird.  There are a few steps for a salad, but it really doesn’t take too long and you probably have most of the ingredients at home.  [Note: I substituted balsamic vinegar for the saba.]

Blue Apron recipe, serves 2, (I tripled the amount of Brussels sprouts)

https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/roasted-brussels-sprout-freekeh-salad-with-pickled-raisins-shaved-parmesan-hazelnuts

Advertisements

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts

DSCF0005I’m a big fan of the NY Times Dining Section and this recipe owes its origins to the wonderful Melissa Clark.  I’ve made this pasta a few times and it’s always delicious.  Today I was thinking about it while driving home, almost tasting it really, and I knew I had all the ingredients in the house, but when I reached home, I couldn’t find the recipe anywhere.  I searched, I munched on chocolate (I was hungry!), and I searched some more.  Voila!  And now I’m adding it here so that I won’t misplace it again (think of all the chocolate calories that could have been avoided if I had headed right to the stove).

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 8 oz penne (or similar pasta)
  • 8 oz brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz prosciutto (the original recipe calls for pancetta, but I never have that on hand, any ham-like meat will do), cut into small pieces
  • 1 large rosemary sprig (or a sprinkling of dried rosemary)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 large pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta and prepare your veggies (slice, peel garlic, etc.).
  2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.  Add the proscuitto and rosemary and saute for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the garlic, red pepper, and black pepper.  Saute about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt, and a splash of water.  Saute until the sprouts start to soften, about 2 minutes.
  5. Spread sprouts in pan and press down to flatten and sear, about 1 minute.  Stir up and repeat the searing process.  The sprouts should brown.
  6. Add the butter and saute for another minute.
  7. Toss the pasta and brussels sprouts together.  Eat happily.

Brussels Sprout Salad

saladplateAfter eating this delicious salad at Bar Americain, I tried to recreate it here with delightful success.  The original salad called for goat cheese, but I had blue cheese on hand (it tastes good either way).

Your tools and ingredients

  •  The mandoline is VERY helpful for this recipe.  It cuts the Brussels sprouts and apple super thin. Obviously, you can make   this with just plain old knife skills, but I’m a fan of the mandoline.
  • My Blue Cheese Apple Cider Vinaigrette is kept in the handy-dandy Mason jar.
  • You know the rule about retrieving pomegranate seeds, right?  Slice in half, pare back white membranes, beat away (I use the flat end of a meat mallet), and, of course, be patient.
  • A few Brussels sprouts go along way when shredding them, use your own judgement on quantity.
  • A single apple, thinly sliced with yield several salads.
  • Cheese, goat, blue, or other

Directions

  1. Slice the apple and layer on the bottom of each bowl (this is the type of salad that is better platted in the kitchen– it will look impressive and everyone will receive the right ratio of ingredients).
  2. Slice Brussels sprouts and mound on top of apple.
  3. Add dressing and lightly toss (I am very sparing with the dressing).  Sprinkle more cheese on top if desired.
  4. Top with pomegranates and enjoy.

Here’s my finished product (I am not, however, an expert– or even particularly good novice– photographer.  I will have to work on my iPhone skills

Another Variation

If using goat cheese, substitute the pomegranates for roasted beets.  In this variation, use an apple cider vinaigrette rather than the blue cheese one.  Here’s one option for a cider vinaigrette, mix together:

  • 2 Tbsp apple juice or cider
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste (I like a lot)

 

Or use my new favorite dressing: Pomegranate-Apple Vinaigrette

Bar Americain

Yesterday, a heartbeat before New Year’s, my husband and I were corralled into the Times Square area.  I love walking by the tree in Rockefeller Center, but the crowds (and police pens at each street corner), make the experience this close to Christmas / New Year’s a mosh pit nightmare.  Nevertheless, friends were visiting from out of town and had picked a meetup point the in the vicinity.  So we braved it.  The tree was pretty, we inadvertently photo-bombed a dozen snapshots, and we decided to eat at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain.

The restaurant, enormous and full, still managed to showcase a lively style.  We were lucky enough to have a table for two in a cozy corner, interesting for crowd watching but removed from some of the elbow-nearness of the center four-tops.  (And we chatted with the couple seated beside us, a lovely pair in their 60’s who brightened our dining experience).  Now, onto the food.

Ninety percent of the reason that I selected Bar Americain (other than location) was for the Brussels sprout salad.  I am a Brussels sprout fan (usually, I opt for roasted, but I am fully up for variation) and will definitely try to recreate this dish at home.  It was fabulous!

My husband ordered grilled pizza with double smoked bacon, caramelized onions and toasted garlic for his appetizer.  The bacon slabs were delicious (and complimented my salad nicely), but the cheese (mozzarella, I believe) and heft of the appetizer was a bit too much to be paired with the rib eye he also ordered (I eat Brussels sprouts, he eats heart attacks).  He did say the rib eye was delicious.

My entree, lamb loin with quinoa, was good, but paled in comparison to the salad and subsequent dessert.  There was spicy mustard in the sauce (not mentioned on the menu) and I am not a mustard fan.  Alas.  But, here comes dessert!

For dessert I ordered walnut espresso bread pudding with brown sugar Kahlua, mascarpone cream, and caramel sauce.  It was literally one of the best desserts I have ever tasted (and I couldn’t finish it!  How I tried!  But I was just too full.).  Phenomenal!

Ingredients for the Brussels Sprout Salad

  • Brussels sprouts, shredded (definitely use a food processor or mandoline) and, I believe, raw
  • Honey crisp apple, thinly sliced to the point of near transparency (again, I would use a mandoline here)
  • Goat cheese
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Apple cider vinaigritte

I don’t have exact ratios here and I will need to experiment a bit, but the Brussels sprouts were heaped on top, the goat cheese sprinkled lightly around, the honey crisp slices on bottom, and a very generous sprinkling of pomegranate color throughout.  The apple cider vinaigrette was light and crisp and I will have to experiment with that, too.  A definite re-order if ever we venture back.  [Here’s experiment #1]