By Freya Bellin
Boiled Brussels sprouts have a reputation for being mushy, but this recipe succeeds in saving them from that fate. Shocking the sprouts before they have a chance to soften completely helps preserve both the crunch and color of the vegetable. They retain a nice green freshness, and I chose to use red onions in the marinade for the bright color contrast. The dressing is very versatile, and that basic combination could be used on a variety of vegetables or salads. The recipe would also work just as well with roasted Brussels sprouts if you prefer those, although it would be a hot dish rather than this cold one. I didn’t end up using the full amount of dressing that was called for, so you may want to mix it in a few tablespoons at a time to be safe.
When buying Brussels sprouts, keep in mind that you’ll lose the outer layer of leaves of each one, so you may want to get a bit more than what the recipe calls for. Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.
Crisp Marinated Brussels Sprouts
Makes: 4 to 8 servings
Time: Less than 1 hour, including marinating
Bright green and slightly crunchy, these make a perfectly piquant finger food, one that doesn’t depend on bacon or cheese for flavor and texture (though you can add a crumble of either to the vinaigrette). Try the same boil-shock-and-dress method with broccoli or cauliflower florets, asparagus spears, carrot coins, whole green beans, or even strips of cabbage.
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar, or more to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot or small red onion, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Trim the hard edges of the stems and remove any loose leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Leave whole or cut in half. Set up a large bowl of water with lots of ice cubes.
2. Drop the Brussels sprouts into the boiling water and cook until they are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. You should be able to pierce one easily with a sharp knife, but they should still have a little crunch. Drain the vegetables and plunge into the bowl of ice water until cool; drain again.
3. While the sprouts are draining, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, shallot, and some pepper in a large bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more vinegar a teaspoon or 2 at a time until the balance tastes right to you. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the vinaigrette, cover, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day. Serve with toothpicks.