You know when you say a phrase over and over and over again and it begins to sound like a foreign language? That's how I felt when I tried to come up with a name for this recipe. Something about it doesn't quite roll off the tongue like I'd like it to.

A few weeks ago, it came to my attention that I'm not cooking enough vegetables with dinner (huh, what??!). This came as a shock because I feel like I'm a walking vegetable I eat so many throughout the day (ooh...that doesn't sound so good, but you know what I mean). Turns out I'm eating all the vegetables at breakfast and lunch and in between, saving comfort food for dinner. L always gets at least a couple different veggies at dinner, but G has apparently been left out. Oops.

Going from one extreme to another and saying, "hey honey, I made salad for dinner" is generally a tough sell. This was an instant winner which I think was a surprise to the both of us. Not to say I'm the only salad eater, but unlike my dining companions I can eat salad seven days a week three times a day whereas they cannot. And by the way, does anyone of our generation call their significant other "honey"? I don't and don't know anyone who does, but it sounds good in this scenario.

With summer a few short months away, this salad comes at a good time to rev up lighter eating to shed those few extra winter pounds. Even though currently, we're having our "winter" with foggy days and rain in the forecast, but I find this salad filling and comforting enough even for chilly days. If you read to the bottom of the recipe, you can find out how to really warm this dish up :)

serves 6-8 depending on whether it's a main or side salad 

I doubled the salad dressing because it's really good and will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Most salads I like with very little dressing, but this one I like a lot :) It would be prudent to make a larger batch in the event you fall in my camp and need more dressing on your salad. 

For the salad:
1 lb brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a sharp knife*
1 large chicken breast (about 8 oz), poached, cooled and shredded
5-6 radishes, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves

For the dressing:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp rice wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black or sansho pepper
2 tsp finely grated ginger
3 Tbs grapeseed oil
1 Tbs sesame oil

1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
sansho pepper (optional)

For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. This will keep for two days in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic.
For the dressing, whisk the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and ginger in medium bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the oils to emulsify.
About ten minutes before serving, toss the salad with the dressing. Unlike most salads, this one tastes best with a little time to marinate to soften the sprouts ever so slightly.
Alternatively, you can make both the salad base and dressing a day or two ahead of time and toss together before serving.
Just before serving, garnish with sesame seeds, almonds and a sprinkling of sansho.
This salad, dressing and all, is also amazing quickly sautéed and thrown with some udon or soba, which is how I ate it for a couple days afterwards for lunch.

* I tried using the shredder on my food processor for this and I didn't like the texture at all. It takes some time to shred a pound of brussels sprouts, but not enough to keep you from wanting to make and eat the dish.


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