Ok people, it’s time I ‘fessed up. I lied. I told you that I was out on helping with Thanksgiving, that I was spending the weeks leading up to the nation’s biggest cooking holiday curled up on my couch with sour patch kids.
Which was true for a while, but a girl’s gotta eat.
So last night I whipped up a little steak and some crispy smashed potatoes, and my own version of a salad from Smitten Kitchen. And let me preface this next part by saying that the Boyfriend is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. And I don’t mean that metaphorically. He literally likes meat and potatoes more than he likes salads. So you might expect that this lil’ salad would get lost in the shuffle for him, what with the perfectly medium-rare ribeye and the salty-crispy-hot purple potatoes (#bestgirlfriendever #ifidosaysomyself). But instead he declared the salad the star of the meal.
(In addition to being a meat-and-potatoes guy, the Boyfriend is exceptionally competitive and is always ready to declare a winner and a loser. If I my meal is better than his at a restaurant, I have won. If we get in a long line and no one gets in line behind us, we have lost. And last night, this salad was declared the winner!)
While we were crunching on our thirds (ugh, yes, I had thirds), we chatted about how good this salad would be at Thanksgiving — it’s crunchy and fresh, but still interesting with a sweet-salty-sour balance going on.
So then I was stuck because dammit, this salad would be great at Thanksgiving. But it will also be great for after Thanksgiving — when you want a salad full of veggies without cream or cheese (okay, fine, a little cheese).
So that’s it, that’s my confession. I made a totally delicious Thanksgiving salad after every Friendsgiving had come and gone and way too late for everyone who has already planned their menus and gone shopping for actual Thanksgiving. Say you’ll forgive me? If you do, there’s some jalapeno cornbread in your future…
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts
- ½ c. craisins
- 2 T. white wine vinegar
- 2 T. water
- ½ c. sliced almonds
- 2 T. breadcrumbs
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 oz. pecorino, freshly grated
- 3 T. olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the craisins: Stir together the craisins, white wine vinegar and water in a microwave-proof measuring cup. Microwave for 1 minute, and set aside to soak.
- For the almonds: In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sliced almonds until they are light brown and warm. Keep a close eye on them -- they will burn quickly.
- For the breadcrumbs: Combine the breadcrumbs, minced garlic, and 2 T. olive oil in a skillet. Stir well and toast until light brown and toasty.
- For the salad: Shred the brussels sprouts -- I did this by chopping off the had, woody end, then cutting each sprout in half. I laid each half cut-side down, and then chopped across, creating small slivers of the sprouts. You could also do this with a mandoline if you have one of those laying around. Toss the brussels with the craisins (and their juice), the almonds, the cheese, the remaining oil and the lemon juice. Top with the toasted bread crumbs.