As a child, and on into adulthood, I thought Brussels sprouts were vile food items that were only served soggy and overcooked with that nasty sulfuric smell. And then, a miracle happened: one Thanksgiving, my friend Peter made a Brussels sprouts dish that was simply divine and turned me into an instant fan. From there, I sought them out on menus, in recipes, everywhere I could. I’d say now, when in season, we eat them at least once a week. The following recipe is a take on a Brussels sprout slaw we had at Muss & Turners here in Atlanta a few years back.
1 cup (100 g) large pecan halves, toasted
½ pound (230 g) thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
¼ cup (60 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ pounds (700 g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 green onions (scallions), cut on the bias
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Place pecans on small rimmed baking sheet. Bake nuts until toasted—about 5–10 minutes (be careful not to burn!).
- Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, cook bacon over mediumhigh heat until crispy. Drain on paper towels, and save the extra bacon fat for future use.
- Whisk mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice in a small bowl; whisk in oil. Season with pepper.
- Using processor fitted with 1/8- to ¼-inch slicing disk, slice Brussels sprouts (alternately, you can slice with knife). Transfer to large bowl.
- Preheat large skillet over medium heat, and add in 1–2 tablespoons of the leftover bacon fat. Add in Brussels sprouts and sauté until softened and slightly brown.
- Pour the mustard/vinegar/lemon juice/olive oil mixture over the sprouts.
- Mix in ½ the pecans, the bacon, and scallions. Place slaw in a serving bowl and top with remaining pecans.
Variations—Try some chopped up or shredded Granny Smith apples in this, some dried cranberries, or walnuts instead of pecans. If bacon is not your thing, just use the oil of your choosing, and omit the bacon.