Tag Archives: overcooked vegetables

Day 2: Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Walnut and Apple Salad

6 Jan

As a kid, I spent several years in New York. I was a Brit but I managed to cultivate two accents to avoid being scolded. One for use around fellow Brits (English accent), and one for use at school to avoid being teased (American accent). Sadly I’m no longer bilingual in that sense anymore. But every Christmas, we would return to Britain to visit my grandparents. Granny was and is a fantastic cook. Her cakes are legendary, and the highlight of Christmas day was the appearance of her homemade sausage rolls. But Christmas lunch always included Brussels sprouts. Possibly foreigners heard about the way the English make Brussels sprouts and expanded the horror these wilted, sulphuric vegetables inspired when boiled for about 10 hours to include all British food. No wonder my mother still won’t eat sprouts today. But seriously, people. We don’t boil everything. Not all of our food sucks. I promise.

My parents raised me to politely eat everything served at someone else’s house, whether I liked it or not. I would try and think about the chocolate santa ornaments on the Christmas tree (that I used to filch when nobody was looking and inhale at an alarming rate behind the sofa until I was thoroughly sick) as I tried as hard as I could to swallow the mushy, tasteless sprouts. Years later, I had Brussels sprouts for the first time cooked as God intended, lightly charred and tossed with bacon and a light maple glaze. Light dawned. Brussels sprouts were not a scourge on humanity after all!

While I love the simplicity of bacon and sprouts in perfect harmony, occasionally I have to eat salads. Or so I’m told. This is as close as I could get to my favorite sprout-bacon combo, but in salad form.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Walnut and Apple Salad

INGREDIENTS
1/8 to 1/4 cup small diced bacon
2 wafer thin slices onion
6 to 8 Brussels sprouts, shaved thin on a mandolin, cores discarded
1/8 apple, preferably Braeburn, cored and cut julienne
2 or 3 walnuts, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
Apple cider vinegar
Oil

METHOD
Render the bacon in a pan until crispy, carefully saving any drippings. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly. Mix the onion, sprouts and apple in a mixing bowl with the walnuts, salt and pepper, vinegar and oil. Serve.

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