Google Translate

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Brussels Sprouts Salad in Prosciutto Cups

I have a dear friend, who shall remain nameless but who no doubt knows who he is, who despises most vegetables including brussels sprouts. This isn't surprising, given their status as one of the world's most hated foods, and yet I find it mildly appalling. As his friend I am of course concerned about his health and would hate for him to suffer the consequences of some kind of vitamin or nutritional deficiency (scurvy? night blindness!?). Worse yet, I'd hate for him to meet the woman of his dreams, fall in love, and then discover that "eats vegetables" is one of her relationship deal breakers. My concern for my friend (and not my maniacal need to prove that kale is delicious...) has prompted me to launch a campaign whereby I encourage him to try new recipes and ways of preparing the vegetables he swears he despises. For every new recipe he tries, I will treat him to a delicious bag of buttery popcorn (because let's face it, bribery works). Photographic evidence of vegetable consumption is required. Also, for every vegetable I convince him to love, I will reward myself with a scoop of impossibly creamy gelato from G is for Gelato (because let's face it, self congratulation works?). I know, I know, the vegetables are delicious and should be reward enough. You obviously haven't tried this gelato.

This is my go-to conversion recipe for brussels sprouts haters.  Here's what will happen: first, you'll be drawn in by the promise of a crispy, salty, prosciutto cup. Then you'll taste the dressing and your mind will be tricked into thinking you're enjoying a caesar salad. Finally, you'll enjoy the crunch of the salad and complete lack of the brussels sprouts bitterness you've expected. And then I will have won...

It's best if you let it sit for a little while before serving to let the flavours combine and it's even better the next day. Feel free to omit the prosciutto if you're a vegetarian or you could try serving it in baked parmesan cheese cups instead.

Makes 4-6 servings

2 lbs brussels sprouts
12 slices Prosciutto
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 ounce blue cheese (about the size of your thumb)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
small pinch of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400F.  I use a mini muffin tin to make prosciutto cups but you could also make regular size versions. Slice each piece of prosciutto in half and arrange in each cup, making sure to cover the bottom. Bake for about 5-7 minutes until crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a the bottom of a shallow bowl, combine the garlic, blue cheese, mustard and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Using a fork, mash the ingredients together until they make a paste. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and whisk together. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking until the dressing is combined and emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings as required (I like it quite tart with lots of bite).

Wash the brussels sprouts and remove any leaves that are damaged. Using a knife, trim the stem ends off of each sprout. You want to remove all of the stem because this portion is very tough and doesn't make for a delicious salad. Thinly slice the sprouts using a food processor with a slicing blade. If you don't have you one you could also try a mandoline or finely slicing the sprouts with a sharp knife (just watch your fingers!). The result should look sort of like coleslaw.

Combine the dressing and sprouts in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes. When you're ready to serve, spoon a little of the salad mixture into each of the prosciutto cups and arrange 2 or 3 together on a plate.

No comments:

Post a Comment