Raw or cooked, I like Brussels sprouts. If you are not a fan, I ask that you try this recipe from British chef, Lorraine Pascal. She has put together a winning combination of ingredients that enhance (or cover!) the distinct flavour of the sprouts. A simple oil and vinegar dressing brings it all together in a salad you can easily keep for another day or two, should you have any left over. I have brought this to parties and at the end of the meal, the bowl has been scraped clean. I love the way the pomegranate seeds pop when you bite into them!
- 500g Brussels sprouts, outer leaves, and base removed
- 75g pumpkin seeds
- 100g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 400g can puy or green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 75g dried blueberries
- 150g pomegranate (from 1 large pomegranate)***
- 6Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium frying pan on medium-high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. When you can smell their aroma, scoop them onto a plate to cool. Using the same frying pan, toast the hazelnuts in the same way. These will take a little longer and you’ll notice their gorgeous aroma as they roll about in the pan. When just starting to brown, remove them from the pan onto a cutting board, and after they have cooled, use a large knife to roughly chop them.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large salad bowl and season well with salt and pepper.
- Slice the sprouts very thinly by hand, or, if you have a food processor, whiz them about with one of your slicing blades and feed the spouts in via the opening on top.
- Toss the sprouts, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, lentils, blueberries and all but a handful of pomegranate seeds into the dressing, giving it a good toss!
- Spoon the salad out onto a large serving platter, sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds over the top and serve.
***A note about the pomegranate: I happened to be Face Timing with my niece when I was making this salad and she had a great tip. When extracting the seeds from a pomegranate, fill a large bowl 2/3 of the way with cool water. Score the pomegranate from pole to pole, as it were, and gently pry apart the sections. Keeping the sections under water, coax the seeds out of their nesting place and voila! no pomegranate juice splashing about, and the pithy bits float to the top. Rinse and drain. I think you’ll find that the pomegranate seeds hold their shape and juice.
Thanks, Tiff! And thanks, Lorraine Pascal, for inspiring the recipe!