Thursday, 2 June 2016

Warm Brussel Sprout and Hazelnut Salad

Brussel sprouts are one of my favourite vegetables and served nearly daily when in season. A passion not universally shared, although, I have quite a few friends who are as obsessed.  Mostly I serve them lightly steamed as part of a bowl of steamed greens, however, sometimes I just have to make them more of a feature.

This Warm Brussel Sprout and Hazelnut Salad and variations have been known to convert some of the most reluctant Brussel Sprout eaters that I know. With Brussel sprouts the secret is to cook the sprouts until just tender and add in lots of other flavours and textures. Crispy bacon, prosciutto or chorizo is a nice addition and some cooked pasta can extend the salad to serve more. An even heartier meal can be achieved by makeing a simple sherry reduction sauce, adding lots of cooked pasta  and serving with a generous amount of shaved Parmesan cheese.

I discovered these sprouts at the fruit and vegetable shop and couldn't wait to try them, I usually just use the regular green variety.

Variation 1, The same salad with some crispy bacon.

Variation 2, the salad with the bacon and some cooked pasta. Omit the bacon for a vegetarian option.

Variation 3, no longer a salad and more hearty with a sherry reduction sauce and a higher proportion of pasta.

I am feeling very pleased, the recipe has been used by GMHBA in their recent newsletter.  You can see it here go to the article Fire Up Your Fruit and Veg

Warm Brussel Sprout & Hazelnut Salad
400 g small Brussel Sprouts
1 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed*
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
generous grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt
1 -2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

To serve
1 -2 tablespoons lemon olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon

*natural almond could be substituted for the hazelnuts.

Variation 1
100g bacon/prosciutto diced and crisped.

Variation 2
Add 1 -2 cups cooked pasta

Variation 3
Add 3 cups cooked pasta,
Sauce made by reducing 1 cup sherry by 1/3. Additional garlic and a generous pinch of chilli flakes can be added to the sherry.
shaved parmesan to serve


Toast hazelnuts and remove skins.

Thinly slice spring onions. Chop parsley and thyme

Trim the end of the sprouts and slice in half vertically, rinse. Place into a pot of
boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain.

Toss salad ingredients together and then pile onto a serving plate.

Drizzle with the lemon olive oil and scatter the lemon zest over the salad.

Serve warm or at room temperature for the best flavour, Can also be eaten cold.

Variation 1
Add crisped bacon or prosciutto
Variation 2
Warm Brussel Sprout, Hazelnut and Pasta Salad
Add cooked pasta and a little more oil.

Variation 3
Add the sherry, chilli and an extra clove of crushed garlic to the pan used to crisp the bacon. Simmer until reduced by one third.
Add cooked pasta and the warm Brussel sprouts and hazelnut mixture

Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese.

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