Lately I’ve been in a bit of a rut, for lack of a better word. I think last week’s gloomy rain that yanked most of the leaves off the trees was partly to blame, combined with a general feeling of stagnation as a writer and cook. No matter how rationally I argue against it, every once in awhile little kernels of self-doubt lodge themselves in my head and make me feel like quitting–or at the very least, ordering takeout for the next several days.
So what does this have to do with brussels sprout slaw? Well, sometimes inspiration comes in very simple guises–like leaving brussels sprouts raw and shaving them thin for a little salad bound with mayo and lots of lemon. This simple dish is a slightly unexpected use for these cabbagey little orbs, which I most often roast or toss in warm butter glaze. It was just what the doctor ordered and enough to spark that little twinge of excitement that comes with creating something new.
This slaw is at its tastiest when made with the first teeny brussels sprouts of the season. If you have the big, mature sprouts, just pull off some of the outer leaves and trim the root end.
Lemony brussels sprout slaw
1 pound brussels sprouts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Method: Wash and trim the edges of the brussels sprouts. Slice very thin.
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, mayo, salt and pepper. Add the brussels sprouts and shallots and toss well to combine. You can serve this immediately or let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Note: This would make a nice, lighter alternative to braised or roasted vegetables for your Thanksgiving table. Add some candied pecans or crisp bacon pieces to punch it up for a fancy meal.