Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese
We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad.
This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!
Yields: 6 servings1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
5 ounces feta cheese, cubed
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 teaspoon curly parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoons pink, green and black peppercorn medley, slightly crushed
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons grape-seed oil
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 cups butter lettuce, shredded
Marinating the feta cheese: Place the diced feta in a bowl. Add red chili flakes, the lemon zest and the juice of half the lemon. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and the multi-colored peppercorns. Add the 3 herbs. Drizzle with the olive oil. Toss well. Set aside.
Pickling the carrot: Peel the carrots. Shred the whole carrot. If you use the Messermeister tool, you'll get long threads of carrot. Cut into about 3-inch lengths. Place the carrots in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar. Drizzle with the juice of half a lemon. Toss well. Set aside.
Steaming the Brussels sprouts: Trim the root a bit. Remove and discard the outer layer if the leaves are wilted or dark. Fill a large bowl of water. Wash the Brussels sprouts under running water. Bring a pot filled with water to a boil. Add the steamer insert, place the Brussels sprouts in the steamer and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove them for the steamer and let cool a bit until you can handle them without discomfort. Cut them into quarters.
Grilling the Brussels sprouts: Brush a hot griddle pan with grape-seed oil. Lightly coat the Brussels sprout quarters using a silicone brush. Place the pieces on the griddle. Cook until you get grill marks (about 2-3 minutes on each side) over medium heat. Do not overcook; they should be still tender and crisp, not mushy. Remove from the pan. While still hot, drizzle the remaining lemon juice and the remaining grape-seed oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Cool to room temperature.
For the sliced almonds: Quickly dry roast the almonds in a small pan over the stove for about 1-2 minutes until slightly golden. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Assembly time: On a large platter, start by layering a bed of shredded lettuce. Add the pickled carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and marinated feta cheese with its marinating liquid. Garnish with the toasted almonds.
I think the feta cheese marinating mixture is enough seasoning for the salad but the little one asked for a salad dressing. So I put a balsamic reduction vinaigrette on the side for those who wanted some.
You can add any other herbs for marinating feta cheese, I used what I had on hand.
I like dry roasting the sliced almonds a bit before adding them to the salad, to bring a little color and a nice nutty aroma. It also provides addition protein for a vegetarian diet.
Published By: on September 26, 2009.