I know, i know, you HATE Brussels sprouts. With a passion. I can understand why. They are quite strong tasting, and you were probably served them overcooked and soggy as a child, and haven't been near them as an adult. I have an admission to make. I LOVE Brussels sprouts.
Probably something to do with never having been fed them as a kid (Dad hated them, so Mum never cooked them). I'm a fan of all green vegetables, but the Brussels sprout is one of the bonuses of winter, as far as i am concerned. I look forward to their arrival on our vege man's shelves, and the only thing that stops me packing a sad when they go out of season is that asparagus and other things green and yummy are on their way in. Yet another thing that i don't grow (the list seems to be getting ever longer, you'll be beginning to wonder what exactly i DO grow in my vege garden!); i have tried, only to produce a fabulous crop of white cabbage butterfly caterpillars. The hens were very pleased with this crop, but i was not. Living in a rural environment, where brassicas are grown as winter forage crops for livestock, we are inundated with white cabbage butterflies each summer, and they thrive well into autumn. I manage to grow Kale - early leaves get well nibbled by the caterpillars, but plenty more leaves are produced later in autumn when the caterpillars have been killed by frost. Other brassicas, such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts, however, get too badly damaged in their growth phase to be edible, so i satisfy my lust for these green globes of goodness by frequenting the local vege man's store.
If you have grown up hating Brussels sprouts, and vowed off them as an adult, i DARE you to try this salad. It will change your life... or at least your opinion of the much maligned sprout. The apple and cranberries add a sweetness to the bitter Brussels, and this makes a delicious, hearty and healthful winter salad. I came across this recipe in Damon Gameau's 'That Sugar Book'. I've tweaked the recipe a little, but essentially it is Damon's creation.
BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD
Based on the recipe from Damon Gameau's 'That Sugar Book'
16 Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly broken (approximate quarters)
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
large handful of dried cranberries, chopped
1 red apple, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
dash of soy or tamari
Mix the olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard and tamari together in a small vessel. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and then slice thinly - the finer the better. Grate the apple, add to the sprouts, and pour the dressing over. Mix so that the apple is well coated with dressing, to prevent browning. Add the cranberries, walnuts and red onion, and toss well.