SQIRL’S SHAVED and PAN-ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS with ROASTED PEARS {recipe}

shaved brussels sprouts and roasted pears saladRecipe for Shaved and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Pears from Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking cookbook below, notes about my changes/substitutions follow.

Sqirl’s Shaved and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Pears {recipe}

from Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking cookbook

serves 6

Ingredients

2 to 3 Warren pears
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
fine sea salt
2 pounds, 10 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
¾ cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
⅓ cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
¼ lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
½ lemon

Directions

Cut the pears lengthwise into quarters, scoop out the cores, and trim off the stems.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a wide pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 pear (4 quarters), cut-sides down, to the pan and cook until lightly caramelized, about two minutes. Rotate and caramelize the other cut sides for another 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but not mushy.

Transfer to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, Add the Champagne vinegar, honey, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until completely puréed. Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue blending until the dressing is emulsified.

Cut 1 pound of the Brussels sprouts in half. Doing so will cause some of the outermost leaves to fall off. Keep the loose leaves in a little pile on the cutting board.

Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter. As soon as the foam subsides, add the cut Brussels to the pan, arranging each one cut-side down. Cook, without stirring the sprouts, for 2 to 3 minute. Flip, season evenly with ½ teaspoon salt, and cook the rounded sides for another 2 minutes.

Add the reserved outer leaves and the sherry vinegar, and shake the pan to distribute. Cook for 10 more seconds, just to wilt the leaves, then transfer to a plate.

Shave the remaining raw Brussels sprouts thinly on a mandoline. This takes forever with a knife, but a food processor fitted with a slicing/shredding blade would also work. Toss the shaved Brussels sprouts into a large bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, parsley, about three-quarters of the dressing, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat everything well. Taste, adding a bit more salt or dressing, if you want.

Thinly slice the remaining pear quarters. Serve the salad with pan-roasted Brussels sprouts and the sliced pears tucked in. Finish with a big squeeze of lemon juice, and a handful of parsley on top.

shaved brussels sprouts for salad
Some notes about the recipe:

On the Pears: According to the recipe, Warren pears are “super sweet and have a velvety, grit-free texture.” I couldn’t find them — though admittedly, I didn’t look that hard — so I used the recommended substitute, Red d’Anjou.

Speaking of the pears, there was no specific instruction about peeling the pears for the purée. I wanted to peel the pears, but I left the peels on the pears because this is Sqirl and though the cooking techniques require a lot of tiny delicate steps, the whole vibe is “rustic.” Next time though, I will go with my gut instinct, and peel the pears. There are a lot of “p”s in this paragraph.

On the Brussels Sprouts: The ratio of shaved to roasted Brussels sprouts is about 1:1 in the recipe. Next time, or your first time, I would tip the balance in favor of roasted Brussels sprouts by at least two, maybe three, times, which might just be me because bittersweet caramel burnt roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my all-time favorite vegetables of all-time, so much so that I don’t even care about redundancy.

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