This is the salad that changed my Brussels sprouts worldview. Prior to this, I thought they were okay in a nourishing-suppose-I-had-better-eat-them sort of way. Now they are one of my favourite vegetables.
This salad is a great quick weekday dinner but it’s also good enough for special occasions; I made this for two of my favourite food-loving friends and served it with a crunchy baguette. To bulk up the salad and make it a meal-in-one I sometimes add some steamed purple-skinned kumara.
Brussels sprouts, pear, bacon & hazelnut salad
Adapted from Amanda Laird, Good Times: Favourite recipes to share from Viva, 2012
For the salad:
Brussels sprouts 500g, kept whole if they are little, or cut in half
freshly ground black pepper
streaky bacon 4 rashers, chopped
pears 2, thinly sliced (squeezed with a bit of lemon juice to prevent discolouration)
hazelnuts 1/2 cup
Italian parsley small bunch, chopped
Start by toasting the hazelnuts in a 160˚C oven for about ten minutes. Keep an eye on them and test one when you think they are done; the nuts should be toasted all the way through to their centres. Leave to cool and then rub the hazelnuts between your hands to remove their skins and then roughly chop up.
Meanwhile, warm a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the bacon, cooking until it’s starting to get golden and crispy. The pan should be fairly-well coated with bacon juice, but if not, add some olive oil and then the Brussels sprouts. Cook for five or so minutes until the sprouts are golden and even slightly charred in places, but still have a bit of bite. Season with ground pepper and some sea salt if needed, but the bacon should impart enough saltiness.
Put the Brussels sprouts and bacon, sliced pear, hazelnuts, and chopped parsley into a large pre-warmed serving bowl, pour over dressing and lightly toss together.
For the dressing:
extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup
Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon
sea salt a pinch
brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon
juice of half a lemon
Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake it up.