If you never thought you’d take to Brussel sprouts, this will be better than the best coleslaw you’ve ever had. Six dozen Brussels sprouts seems like a lot to shave, but with a mandoline this goes quickly. The full-flavored citrus vinaigrette ties it all together. Marcona almonds from Spain add the crucial crunch to this salad. You can fry your own blanched almonds in a few tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of sea salt, but it’s easier to buy these, which are already cooked in olive oil and salted.
This salad tastes best if the shaved Brussels sprouts, egg, and vinaigrette are all well chilled before you start.
Recipe from Bottega by Michael Chiarello/Chronicle Books, 2010.
|2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)||1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)|
|1/2 navel orange, or 1 small orange (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)||1 dozen large eggs, hard cooked|
|1 large shallot (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)||6 dozen (8 to 9 cups) Brussels sprouts|
|1 1/2 cups olive oil (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)||3 dozen (3/4 cup) Marcona almonds, finely chopped|
|1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt (for Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette)||1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano|
For the vinaigrette: Use a juice extractor to juice the lemons, orange, and shallot, using the entire fruit. Pour the juices into a small bowl and gradually whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream to form an emulsion. Season with the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Whisk again, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. You should have about 2 cups.
At Bottega, we push the hard-cooked egg whites through the sieve separately, then sieve the yolks and layer the two separately when serving. If it’s easier, you can sieve the whole eggs and not bother separating whites from yolks.
Using a mandoline, carefully shave each Brussels sprout holding the stem end. You should have about 9 cups when they’re all grated. In a large bowl, toss together the shaved Brussels sprouts, sieved eggs, and chopped almonds. Pour on about 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette and toss again. Spoon into chilled small bowls and top with the pecorino. Top with a little more of the vinaigrette.
Summer Variation: Substitute 9 cups of julienned sugar snap peas for the shaved Brussels sprouts.
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