I was never a huge Brussels Sprouts fan until I tried Michael Chiarello’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Marcona Almonds and Pecorino this past weekend at Bottega in Napa. Mouth watering. Take my word and make this at home (serves 6):
For Whole-Citrus Vinaigrette (Juicer Version):
2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons
1/2 navel orange, or 1 small orange
1 1/2 cups pure olive oil (doesn’t have to be extra virgin)
1 teaspoon sea salt, preferably gray salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
For the vinaigrette: Use a juice extractor to juice the lemons, orange, and shallot using the entire fruit with peel. 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. Makes about 2 cups.
For the salad:
6 to 12 large eggs, hard cooked (optional)
6 dozen (8 to 9 cups) Brussels sprouts
3 dozen (3/4 cup) Marcona almonds, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano
To sieve the eggs: At Bottega, we push the hard-cooked egg whites through the sieve separately, then sieve the yolks and layer the two separately for each serving. If you want, sieve the whole eggs and forget about separating whites from yolks.
Using a mandolin (an inexpensive $30 version works fine), carefully shave each Brussels sprout holding the stem end. A finger guard with prongs is a good way to keep your knuckles away from the blade. You can also cut off the stem of each B. sprout and use the shredder blade of your food processor. You should have about 9 cups when all of the B. sprouts have been 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.