Frugal French Friday: Warm Brussels Sprout and Leek Salad with Roasted Walnuts and Dried Cherries
I love this time of the year. Well, I love every time of the year, but especially the countdown to Thanksgiving with its unabashed emphasis on food.
As I ponder what we'll have for Thanksgiving dinner, I've also given a fair amount of thought to where I am going with this blog and my cooking.
As some readers know, I picked the blog up again after a couple of years during which family and work obligations occupied much of my time. Blog posts were rare. We ate out a lot, and relied on simple meals.
Simple is the operative approach for me. If I'm going to continue to post at French Kitchen in America, I've got to make a commitment to myself (and anyone who reads my posts) that all recipes featured must be very doable. I'm not going to feature any dishes that take hours to prepare. I'm going to assume you are as busy as I am.
Even though I quit my full-time job five weeks ago, like most of you I have a lot going on in my life: Family, friends, workouts and fitness classes, volunteer work and yes, maybe a little bit of paid work. I like to spend time with my husband, too. And I prefer to make dishes both of us like - that can be tricky.
This pairing of Brussels sprouts and leeks was simple. I wanted to create something festive enough to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. But my immediate need was a side dish for a small filet and some herb-y roasted potatoes.
Warm Brussels Sprout and Leek Salad with Roasted Walnuts and Dried Cherries
(measurements are guidelines and subject to taste preference)
- 24 fresh Brussels sprouts
- 3 small-to-medium leeks
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- dash sea salt
- dash freshly-ground pepper
- 1/3 cup roasted walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
Trim Brussels sprouts at the flat end; remove outer leaves. Cut into thin slices as you would an onion. Place in a large bowl. Wash and trim leeks, using only the white or very light green portions. Slice thinly; add to the Brussels sprouts. Drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
Meanwhile, roast walnuts in a preheated 350 oven for 10 minutes. I drizzled mine with melted butter and a scant tablespoon of brown sugar.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet under medium heat, and add sprouts and leeks. Stir constantly until golden brown and tender, lowering heat if necessary. Add lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in roasted walnuts and cherries. Cranberries are another option.
Serve warm. I opted not to use a dressing, but a simple oil-and-vinegar dressing would be perfect; so would a creamy honey-mustard dressing.
Cost: This festive side dish can be made for about $7.
Wine Pairing: Since this side dish would be as good with ham as it would be with turkey, chicken or beef, almost anything goes!