Last week I turned on the Food Network and Giada De Laurentiis had just blanched a pot of Brussel Sprout leaves. Unfortunately I missed her technique for separating the leaves, but the result looked so appealing that I decided to try to duplicate it. My friend Sheila had invited us over to try a new recipe that she was testing for Passover, Braised Short Ribs, and I thought that a green salad would be a perfect way to balance the richness of the beef. Plus it was fun knowing that we were going to be each other’s taste testers in anticipation of Pesach.
Using a very small paring knife, I cut the bottom of each Brussel Sprout and gently trimmed off each individual leaf. After about 45 minutes, I had enough for a large salad. The leaves were quickly blanched, strained, and thrown into a bowl of ice water. There they were, a bowl of delicate beautiful emerald-green leaves which I tossed with arugula and toasted almonds. The dressing was equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. The salad was refreshing and lemony, and the preparation was a nice alternative to roasting the Brussel Sprouts. The short ribs melted in your mouth.
We won’t be in Los Angeles for Pesach this year, we are heading East at the invitation of our recently married son and daughter-in-law. I will miss our Seder, our friends in L.A., and my sister and brother-in-law, but it will be the first time that both families, (and all the siblings) will join together to celebrate a Chag, and that’s too wonderful an opportunity to pass up.
Spring can’t come soon enough.
Brussel Sprout Leaf, Arugula and Almond Salad
1 lb. Brussel Sprouts, bottoms trimmed and leaves removed
3 cups Baby Arugula
1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and toss in leaves. Boil for one minute, strain, and place in bowl of ice water. Drain and toss Brussel Sprout leaves, arugula and toasted almonds in a large bowl. Dress and serve immediately. Serves 6
By the way, the Braised Short Ribs were as beautiful as they were delicious, just take a look for yourself.