When I make my weekly trek to the farmers market, I usually have my shopping list tucked away in my head. I scan the market stands to see what everyone’s bringing and then I pick up my staple items as I go. It’s a combination of inspiration and necessity. It works for me.
Every now and then there’s an unexpected surprise. Such was the case this past week when I encountered a small assortment of Brussels sprouts, of all things, from one of my favorite vendors. There they were, purposely tucked in between the asparagus and cauliflower to get the attention they deserved. While filling a bag with handful after handful of the little gems, I was immediately impressed with their small size . This suited me just fine because I think they smaller ones have a more nutty flavor. I bought quite a few knowing that this rare opportunity was probably the result of clearing an end of season crop to make room for something new; it would more than likely be a while before I saw them again.
Once home, I rinsed the Brussels sprouts and grabbed a handful to munch on while putting away everything else. They were tender and nutty, just as I had hoped they would be. I grabbed my camera and thought I should snap off a few shots just in case the results of what I was anticipating were worth featuring now.
They were. But I contemplated all weekend whether or not to post this recipe; Brussels sprouts aren’t as readily available as they were a few months ago. However, the flavors of this salad/cole slaw were so light and springlike, I decided to go with it. If you can get your hands on some Brussels sprouts within the next week or so, please grab them and make this. It is delightfully simple and has the most refreshing flavors. Once Brussels sprouts are gone, I think green or Savoy cabbage would be an excellent stand in.
I'm always looking for ways to incorporate the goodness of Brussels sprouts into my meals. The crunchy brightness from the raw Brussels sprouts, walnuts and Meyer lemon peel is a refreshing change.
- 2 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
- 2 3-inch strips of Meyer lemon peel (no white pith), julienned and halved
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Trim bottoms of Brussels sprouts and discard.
- Slice Brussels sprouts in half from top to bottom.
- Place flat side down on cutting board and slice thinly to form shreds.
- Place in a medium sized bowl and toss the slices to separate.
- Add Meyer lemon peel and toasted walnuts.
- Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to taste. Toss.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
- Top with shaved Parmesan.
Using a sharp vegetable peeler is the easiest way to remove the Meyer lemon peel in strips. To julienne, simply run your knife down the strip of the peel lengthwise to create thin slices. Cut those julienned pieces in half. If using a regular lemon, it may be better to zest a portion of the peel instead of julienne it.
I toasted walnut halves at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes, allowed them to cool and used the palm of my hand against the cutting board to break them up into chunks. This also helped to remove some of the looser skins that would have otherwise freckled the slaw.
I used a vegetable peeler to shave a wedge of Reggiano (Parmesan).
I used Maldon flaked sea salt and highly recommend it, but kosher salt would work just fine too.