[From my Cooking from Scratch column, which is sadly being discontinued in the new year. It's been fun, all you local Lawrence peeps!]
I love Christmas. I'm just going to get that out there to start. I love twinkle lights and carols and roast beast and peppermint bark. Oh good golly, do I love peppermint bark. (Google Molly Wizenberg's recipe. And make a double batch, you'll thank me.)
After spending much of December enjoying treats and guzzling egg nog, though, by Christmas Day itself I often feel a bit like a fatted calf. Not so much that I'm ready to embrace the discipline of January 1st―because my friends make some amazing appetizers for New Year's Eve and I wouldn't want to miss those, of course―but definitely craving some green vegetables.
If you know the feeling, the following little jewel of a warm salad is my gift to you.
Inspired by a dish I once had at a tapas restaurant, it's a little bit Christmas and a little bit New Year's Day. The butter and salty prosciutto make it feel celebratory. The Brussels sprouts are as fresh and clean as your living room walls when you take the decorations down. And the little lumps of grape and dried apricot? Well, like this time of year, they're somewhere in between.
The restaurant version of this salad used whole Brussels sprout leaves that had been meticulously peeled apart. That's much too fussy for me ever to do at home, so I used a mandolin to quickly turn the sprouts into ribbons. If you do the same, be very sure to use the guard or wear a metal mesh glove when working with your mandolin. (Because Brussels sprouts are small and slippery and the emergency room isn't a fun place to spend any holiday.) If you don't have a mandolin, a sharp knife will get you to the same place, it just takes a little longer.
Merry Christmas, happy new year, and a wonderful everything in between!
Brussels Sprout Salad with Grapes, Apricots, and Prosciutto
- 1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and shredded
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 15-20 green grapes
- 10 dried apricots
- 5 slices prosciutto
- salt and pepper, to taste
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts, using tongs to toss them in the butter, then add the other 2 tablespoons of butter. Continue to cook the Brussels sprouts over medium heat―tossing gently all along the way―for 6-7 minutes. Ideally, they'll turn bright green, but you don't really want them to start caramelizing.
As the Brussels sprouts are cooking, cut each of the grapes in half, dice the dried apricots and tear the prosciutto into small slivers. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the heat and toss them together with the fruit and ham, reserving a few pretty sliced grapes to arrange on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature.