I copied / reverse engineered this recipe from one of our favorite restaurants in San Francisco – L’Ardoise where Chef Clement serves it with goat cheese and Balsamic reduction. My version pays homage to Bulgaria with the feta cheese. This is a perfect winter salad when your choices of fresh produce are limited. The almonds give the salad an unexpected and delightful crunch. The only complication is that you will need some specialized equipment for this one.
serves: 4 difficulty: easy prep time: 20 min
- 1 lbs Brussel sprouts
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 lbs Bulgarian feta cheese
- 3 tbs reserved olive oil from the sun-dried tomato marinade
- 3 tbs sherry vinegar
The biggest complication with this salad is shredding the Brussel sprouts. You will need a mandoline. Mine is De Buyers from Williams-Sonoma, and it has been serving me right for many years.
Adjust the bed of the mandoline as far up as it goes for thinnest slicing. Hold a Brussel sprout by its bottom and start slicing it carefully on the mandonline. This can be a treacherous operation – be careful not to slice off your fingers.
The shredded Brussels sprouts ought to look like this. If you don’t have a madoline then slice the Brussel sprouts as thinly as you can.
Using a sieve, drain the sun-dried tomatoes from the olive oil marinade, but reserve the oil to be used for the dressing. The drained sun-dried tomatoes have to measure 1 cup.
Then chop the sun-dried tomatoes. This is done most easily with a double mezzaluna – a double blade Italian cutting device. But you can use a regular knife of course.
Mix the dun-dried tomatoes with the shredded Brussel sprouts. Note that although you drained the sun-dried tomatoes they do introduce some oil into the mixture.
Crush the slivered almonds in your hand and add them to the mixture.
To make the dressing, mix the reserved olive oil from draining the sun-dried tomatoes and the vinegar. I use left over jars from jams to mix dressings. You have been taught that vinaigrettes are typically 1/3 acid and 2/3 oil but in this case we are using equal parts acid and oil because there is some oil in the salad already.
Add the dressing to the salad. Season with 1/2 tbs salt and mix well again.
Serve topped with some crumbled Bulgarian feta.
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