Like most people I know, I look upon the end of the year as the beginning of a new one. The Christmas presents are barely opened when I begin making plans for all the projects I will finally get around to doing in the year ahead.
This year, the purchase of a new piece of furniture necessitated a bit of cleaning
and reorganizing - which meant I had to sit around paging through the 100 or so magazines piled in corners of the living and dining room. That was how I stumbled across a recipe for warm Brussels Sprout Salad, which inspired the following dish.
I buy Brussels sprouts each week; along with broccoli and red pepper they are staples in my crisper. Shallots are also something I almost always keep on hand.
Warm Brussels Sprout and Shallot Salad with Pecans
16-20 large Brussels sprouts
3-4 large shallots
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
tablespoon unsalted butter
dash freshly ground pepper
dash fleur de sel
Wash and trim Brussels sprouts, removing outer leaves and base. Cut into thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, and place in a skillet or sauté pan. Brown slightly over medium heat until sprouts are just a bit limp. Remove from pan and set aside, covering to keep warm. Peel and slice shallots; using the same pan, brown shallots slightly in butter. Add pecans. Toss shallots and pecans with Brussels sprouts, adding a dash of fleur de sel and pepper.
I served this with a warm bacon dressing. A cranberry vinaigrette would be nice, too, or a mustard-y oil and vinegar blend.
This was the first course of our Christmas dinner, and it was a hit. We followed it with a big juicy ham rubbed with cinnamon and ground cloves and glazed with a cinnamon-y honey-and-apple-jelly blend and a side dishes of roasted root vegetables and candied sweet potatoes.