Friday, December 26, 2014

Korean Seafood Pancakes

Last Year's Post: Spanakopita
Two Years Ago:  Chorizo and Mushroom Fideua

I can't seem to get enough Korean food lately.  I love the bold, clean flavors and particularly like adapting heavy recipes to be lighter but with the same flavor profile (for example, substituting ground turkey for beef in Korean Sliders).  I was attracted to these Korean Seafood Pancakes because they're already light and make a fast and easy (but exotic) weekday dinner.  The other thing that I liked was that this recipe is adapted to use ingredients commonly available in American grocery stores so I didn't have to go buy special items at the Asian market  (which I like to do, but there's a limit to how much stuff I can fit in the pantry).

Start to finish, they take maybe 30 minutes at most, and 10 minutes of that is spent prepping the vegetables into thin and pretty slivers, making the dipping sauce, and prepping the shrimp.

After prepping the vegetables and mixing a simple batter, all that's left is to cook each pancake for about 4 minutes.  You can keep the cooked pancakes warm on a plate in the oven, or serve them at room temperature - they're equally good both ways.  The pancakes may tear somewhat as you flip them, but don't worry - you'll cut the pancakes up for dipping anyway.

My favorite part is that you can use all shrimp, or substitute part or all of the shrimp with lump crab or lobster meat.  If you decide to add lobster, take the raw meat out of a lobster tail and cut it into relatively thin pieces similar to the shrimp so they'll cook at the same rate.  The pancakes cook for 3 minutes on one side and 1 minute on the other, which is enough time to cook the thin seafood pieces completely.

Don't be scared by the amount of jalapeno.  The first time I made the sauce, I cut the jalapeno in half just to be safe, and the sauce wasn't even remotely spicy - I needed both jalapenos to give it a kick.  However, jalapenos can vary widely in their heat, so my advice is to taste the dipping sauce with one jalapeno and then add the second as needed.

printable recipe
Korean Seafood Pancakes
Serves 4

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 ¾ cups water
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 large green onions, halved crosswise and cut into very thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into very thin strips
1 large jalapeno, halved, cored and seeded, cut into very thin strips
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise (or substitute lump crab or lobster meat pieces for all or part of the shrimp)

For the Dipping Sauce
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 green onions, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1 ½ teaspoons toasted Asian sesame oil

To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.  Whisk the egg with the water, then whisk into the flour mixture until smooth.

In an 8-inch non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add one quarter each of the green onions, red pepper and jalapeno.  Add one quarter of the shrimp, scattering them evenly in the pan.  Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter evenly over everything, tilting the pan to spread it.  Cook until the bottom is browned, about 3 minutes.

Using a large spatula, carefully flip the pancake (don’t worry if it tears) and cook on the other side for about 60 seconds, until lightly browned.  Slide the pancake onto a plate and make 3 more pancakes in the same way.

Cut into quarters (or medium pieces) and serve with the dipping sauce.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cheddar Olives

Last Year's Post: Brie & Pomegranate Toasts
Two Years Ago:  Fondue

Cheddar olives were first popular a while back, and then they sort of went away for some reason.  I've started seeing them on restaurant menus again, and for good reason - they're perfect appetizers or tapas with beer or wine, and they're great on a cheese board or charcuterie board.  They can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or even frozen until time to bake, and they need to sit for 30 minutes after baking so you don't need to worry about baking them while your guests are around.

The one issue they used to have is that the cheddar dough tended to slide off when they were baked.  Leave it to the obsessed people at Cook's Illustrated to test ten jillion variations until they found one that solves the issue.  Having made cheddar olives before, I was a little surprised at the amount of dough they called for in their recipe; it seemed like you'd end up with a cheese biscuit with an olive center rather than an olive with a thin cheese exterior.  So, I decided to do my own test by doing half the olives their way, and half using a smaller amount of dough.

Starting back at the beginning, there are two important parts to making this recipe work well - using a good extra-sharp cheddar, and refrigerating the prepared olives before baking to allow the dough to set. The recipe calls for small pimento-stuffed green olives, but I've also made it with pitted black olives.  Green olives are sharper and saltier, black olives are milder.  You could even have fun and use some garlic-stuffed olives from the olive bar, but you'll need to increase the amount of dough if they're big. You typically find the smaller stuffed olives in jars; I found a 5.75 ounce jar of stuffed Manzanilla olives that ended up containing 48 olives, which perfectly used up my half-and-half recipe experiment's worth of dough.  If you use the lesser amount of dough per olive (which we preferred) you could probably do more than 50 olives.

You drain and roll the olives around on a towel to dry them, then grate the cheese and mix the dough in a food processor.  You shape the dough around the olive by first gathering about a teaspoonful in your hand, then roll it into a ball and flatten it into a disk.


 Place the olive on the disk and pull the dough up around the olive, then roll it around in your hand again until it forms a perfect little ball.  After you make one or two it becomes easy and it's actually kind of fun.  And magically, your hands don't even get all sticky.

Refrigerate for at least an hour, then bake and let rest for 30 minutes before serving.  Or, if you want to freeze them for later, freeze them separated on a plate or baking sheet before placing in a plastic bag so they don't all stick together.  You can bake them later directly from frozen which is really handy.

 In the first picture below, the olives with the larger amount of dough are on the top half of the baking sheet.  On the cooling rack, the bigger ones are on bottom part.  And on the picture at the top of this post, you can see the difference between the two cut olives.  As I said, we really preferred the version with less dough - it lets the olive be the star. So, I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

Cheddar Olives
Makes approximately 50 olives

50 small pimento-stuffed green olives, rinsed (about 6 ounce jar)
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 7 pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Spread olives on a dish towel and roll around to dry.  Pulse flour, paprika, pepper and cayenne in food processor until combined, about 3 pulses.  Add cheddar and butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 12 pulses.  Add egg, water, and Worcestershire and process until dough ball forms, about 20 seconds.

Working with 1 heaping teaspoon dough and 1 olive at a time, roll dough between your hands to form a ball, then flatten into a disk.  Place olive in the center of the disk and fold the dough around it, then roll it around in your hands again to make a uniform ball.  Place cheddar olives on a large parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 24 hours (or freeze to bake later).

Preheat oven to 350d.  (If the cheddar olives are close together on your baking sheet, remove half and bake half at a time or use two sheets so they’re spaced at least 1 ½” apart).  Bake until bottoms are well browned and tops are golden, 16 to 18 minutes (if baking from frozen, increase time to about 25 minutes).  Transfer olives to a wire rack after baking and let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kale and Pancetta Salad

Last Year's Post: Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Strata
Two Years Ago:  Greek Phyllo Wraps with Taztziki

Kale is a superfood and a great addition to your fall and winter food rotation to balance out the heavier foods we tend to eat at this time of the year.  It's sturdy so it holds up well in a salad, and its slight bitterness is offset in this recipe by the sweetness of the fruit and maple syrup, plus the creaminess of the blue cheese.  The pecans add a nice crunch and toastiness.  I especially like to have spiced pecans on hand for salads or rice dishes, because they add a little kick.  If you don't feel like making spiced pecans, you can buy some at Trader Joe's or can use plain toasted pecans (or walnuts) instead.

You can substitute regular bacon for pancetta, and dried cranberries or apricots for the currants. You could even go vegetarian and leave out the pancetta. The recipe calls for fresh apples or Asian pears, so I used one of each.  If you're not familiar with Asian pears, they look like a golden apple and have the crispness of an apple with the flavor of a pear.  They've available in most grocery stores, and are delicious.  Try one for fun.

This salad is definitely substantial enough to be a main dish and it's a welcome change from big heavy dinners and sweets.

 printable recipe
Kale and Pancetta Salad
Serves 4

1/3 cup olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small head radicchio, shredded
8 ounces kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
2 Fuji or Honeycrisp apples, or 2 Asian pears (or combination)
¾ cup toasted pecans (or spiced pecans, see below)
1/3 cup dried currants
½ cup crumbled blue cheese

Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy, 8-10 minutes.  Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl to cool and leave the pancetta off to the side to cool.  When the pan drippings are cool, add the vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, salt and pepper to the pan drippings and whisk well.

Quarter and core the apples or pears, then cut into thin pieces.  Combine the radicchio, kale and apples or pears in a large bowl.  Add the dressing little by little, and toss to combine, until the salad is well dressed.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve topped with pecans, currants and blue cheese.

Spiced Pecans
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ cup sugar
1 large egg white
2 cups whole pecans

Preheat oven to 300d.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Whisk the egg white until foamy, then whisk in the salt, pepper, paprika and sugar.  Stir in pecans.  Spread pecans in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 250d and rotate the pan.  Bake 10 more minutes, then immediately spread in a single layer on clean parchment paper.  Let cool before serving or storing. 

Pecans will keep up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature, or may be frozen.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Bang Bang Turkey

Last Year's Post: Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Two Years Ago:  Rum Cake

I came across this recipe recently in no less than the esteemed New York Times Cooking site, and was immediately intrigued by the unusual name so I of course had to try it.  Was I glad I did!  It's completely delicious and very healthy.  It turns out Bang Bang Turkey or Chicken is Szechuan; the name refers to the technique of pounding the poultry before shredding (although here you'll use leftover turkey or chicken, no pounding required).  The poultry is served with a satay-type sauce, vegetables, and lettuce or noodles.  I adapted the recipe slightly to serve the turkey over crunchy Napa cabbage rather than lettuce and added additional garnishes of peanuts, radishes and jalapenos.

It's a great way to use up leftover shredded turkey or chicken and has a totally different flavor profile than the usual carb-laden turkey dinner. (The same reason I like to make Middle-Eastern inspired turkey and couscous after the holidays.)  The sauce is dark, complex and slightly spicy.  Although it calls for two Asian ingredients you may not have on hand - Chinese chili-bean sauce and Chinese black vinegar - there are easy substitutes you can use if you can't find them at your local store and don't want to make a trip to the Asian market.  Chinese chili-bean sauce is hot, so if you can't find it you could use a sweet or garlic bean sauce with a little hot sauce.  Be sure to add substitutions sparingly (especially hot ones) and taste before adding more. Come to think of it, that's a good idea for any hot ingredient in a recipe you haven't tried before.  For the Chinese black vinegar, use one part balsamic vinegar to one part rice vinegar to three parts water (for this recipe, that means one teaspoon of each vinegar and one tablespoon of water).  I used substitutions for both and found the sauce to be a little too spicy for my taste, so I toned it down with a little additional peanut butter and it was perfect.

The cucumber and mint help cool things down, and all the veggies add bright fresh crunch.  If you're not familiar with Napa cabbage, this is what it looks like.  It's a little more mild and delicate than normal green cabbage.

The easiest way to clean it is to shred it crosswise first, then place in a colander, rinse and let drain, shaking to get off as much water as possible.  You can also put the shredded cabbage on a clean towel and pat it dry - you just don't want watery cabbage or the sauce won't stick.

The salad is very easy to make - stir together a sauce, slice up some veggies, and assemble.

The Lawyer and I literally inhaled it, it was that good.

printable recipe
Bang Bang Turkey
Serves 4

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons Chinese chili-bean sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons Chinese black vinegar

For the salad:
6 cups shredded Napa cabbage, rinsed and drained well
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
½ English cucumber, sliced crosswise
4 radishes, sliced
4 cups cooked shredded turkey
2 green onions, sliced crosswise
½ cup coarsely chopped peanuts
1 red jalapeno, seeded and thinly sliced for garnish (optional)

To prepare the sauce, combine sauce ingredients with 2 tablespoons cold water and mix until smooth.  Set aside.

Divide cabbage among serving plates and top with cilantro and mint.  Drizzle 4-5 tablespoons of sauce on top. Arrange cucumber and radishes around the sides of the cabbage.

In a bowl, combine turkey with 4 tablespoons of sauce and toss until evenly coated.  Mound the turkey in the middle of each salad and top with chopped peanuts, green onions and optional jalapeno slices.

Serve with any remaining sauce in a small bowl to pass at the table.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Beer Cheese

Last Year's Post: Turkey & Pomegranate Salad
Two Years Ago:  Brandied Cranberries

If you've ever had (and liked) beer cheese soup, you know exactly what this spread will taste like except it has a little kick and a slight garlic undertone.  All in all, it's the perfect pub food to snack on while watching sports on a large-screen tv, tall cold one in hand.  It's also a great party appetizer during the holiday season because it can sit out for long periods of time and goes well with wine in addition to beer.

My overall theory on food is that if you serve something very healthy along side something not all that healthy, they balance out.  Diet soda and pizza come to mind.  Here, the vegetables play the virtuous role along with toasty dark rye bread and pretzel crackers as the perfect vehicle for that cheesy goodness.

The spread is remarkably easy to make - there aren't many ingredients, and everything gets whizzed up in a food processor before refrigerating for a few hours to blend flavors. You can vary the taste by adjusting the amount of cayenne and garlic that you use, plus by using a bolder or milder beer.  I used a Negra Modela and was very happy with the results.

If you have any beer cheese left over (not likely), it's excellent spread on lightly toasted buns for brats or burgers.  Or how about beer cheese grilled sandwiches?  Yum.

printable recipe
Beer Cheese
Makes about 2 ½ cups

1 pound sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
¾ cup beer (amber or dark beer will have a more pronounced flavor than pilsner)
Pretzel crackers (or pretzels)
Dark rye bread, toasted and cut into squares
Radishes (sliced or not), carrot sticks, blanched pea pods, celery sticks, etc.

Grate the cheddar cheese, preferably in a food processor.  Remove the shredder attachment and add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, black pepper and cayenne pepper and pulse to combine.  With the processor running, slowly add the beer, blending until a smooth mixture forms.

Transfer the beer cheese to a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight to allow flavors to blend.

Serve with crackers, rye toasts, and assorted vegetables on the side.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Couscous with Turkey or Chicken

Last Year's Post: Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Two Years Ago:  Rum Cake

This is an interesting take on leftover turkey, chicken or duck with a Middle Eastern feel.  The couscous, pomegranate seeds, mint and pistachios make it a little exotic while keeping it very healthy.  The original recipe called for pomegranate molasses in keeping with the Middle Eastern theme, which most people will not have on hand although I did for some reason (don't ask) so I tried it both ways - with the molasses and then with balsamic vinegar - and actually like the vinegar better because it balance the sweetness of the dried fruits and pomegranate seeds.

You could substitute any dried fruit for the cranberries and golden raisins - dried apricots would be particularly good - and could substitute other nuts for the pistachios and pumpkin seeds.  What I really liked about this recipe besides the great taste is that it's so fast and easy after all the holiday cooking and baking.  The couscous takes just ten minutes and everything else is just thrown in the bowl.  Make sure you keep your turkey or chicken in big, juicy pieces.  And by the way, this recipe works really well with smoked chicken or turkey as well.

Regarding pomegranates: you can sometimes buy just the seeds in your produce aisle, or they're easy to seed yourself.  Cut the pomegranate in half, spread each half slightly, turn over, and whack it with a wooden spoon over a bowl of water.  The seeds will come out along with a little bit of the white stuff, but the white stuff floats and is easy to remove from the water.  Drain the seeds and you're ready to go.  They add a jewel tone and sweet pop that's like no other.

Don't skip the yogurt because it adds an interesting dimension of creaminess and tang. Greek or regular plain yogurt will both work.  I couldn't find a small container of regular plain yogurt, so I used plain Greek yogurt and thinned it slightly with a little milk because it was really thick.  It was a very delicious, quick and healthy way to use up leftover roast poultry.

printable recipe
Couscous with Turkey or Chicken
Serves 4

Note:  You can also use leftover cooked duck instead of turkey or chicken.

1 cup of couscous
1.25 pounds cooked turkey or chicken, shredded into large pieces
The seeds of one pomegranate
3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons dried cranberries or cherries
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons shelled pistachios
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, plus more small leaves for garnish
Salt and pepper
4 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar

Cook the couscous according to package directions, then fluff with a fork.  Add the turkey or chicken, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, raisins, pistachios, and chopped mint.  Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Serve, topping each serving with a heaping tablespoon of yogurt, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar, and additional mint leaves.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cornmeal Herb Scones

Last Year's Post: Thai Lettuce Wraps
Two Years Ago:  Brandied Cranberries

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals, especially weekend breakfast - there's something luxurious about taking the time to have something special.  In a previous life, "something special" often involved large amounts of eggs, potatoes, and toast, or plates of pancakes or french toast that would make me feel like doing nothing more than laying on the couch for the rest of the day.  Ah, the good old days.  I still like a special weekend (or holiday!) breakfast, but I've learned to exercise a little restraint and these days it more often involves a bagel or pastry with a cup of really good coffee.  It's still a treat, it's just a smaller treat.

Hence the scones.  I've discovered that scones purchased in a bakery or restaurant can vary from cakey - much like a muffin - to hard and dry, so I've learned to rely on making them at home.  My ideal scone is tender and somewhat crumbly, but not cakey and not overly sweet.  I was attracted to this recipe because I like crunchiness of cornmeal and had never put it in scones before.  The original recipe called for a fingerprint of plum jam on top of each scone, which I swapped in favor of some minced herbs.  I expected the scone to be on the savory side, but was very surprised that it went incredibly well with raspberry jam - something about the herbs really complemented the flavor of the jam.  The scone itself is lightly crunchy from the cornmeal, yet not really what I would call overly savory or sweet - just right in the middle.  I was very pleased with the recipe.

The scones are very easy to make in a food processor, and they freeze beautifully.  You could make them a day in advance if you want to serve them right away in the morning, then reheat them briefly in the microwave.  (Ideal for busy holiday mornings.)

The recipe calls for the egg and the butter to be at room temperature which I've noticed before, and led me to wonder why.

Here's what I found at after a little searching:

At room temperature, eggs, butter, and milk bond and form an emulsion that traps air. During baking, the air expands, producing light, airy, evenly baked treats. Batters made with room temperature ingredients are smooth and evenly incorporated. Cold ingredients don’t incorporate evenly to bond, resulting in dense cookies, rock-hard breads, and clumpy cheesecakes. Batters made with cold ingredients won’t come together smoothly.

Take eggs, butter, and other dairy products out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before baking. 

If you’re short on time, cut your butter into small pieces and microwave for a few seconds at a time, checking often, until they’re just malleable. Make sure to keep eye on it because microwaves vary.  Bring cold eggs to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. Don’t use hot water or put eggs on top of a hot oven—this will heat them unevenly, and the whites will start to set.

I always thought "room temperature" meant the ingredients had to sit out for hours, so I was glad to find this info.

printable recipe
Cornmeal Herb Scones
Makes 8 scones

¾ c heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced mixed herbs (thyme and rosemary)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Heat oven to 400d.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg and cream.

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and herbs.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.  Drizzle in as much of the cream mixture as you need to make a smooth, moist but not wet dough.  Save remaining cream mixture for brushing.

Turn dough out onto prepared baking sheet.  Pat into a 1 ¼ -inch thick round.  Using a small knife, cut into 8 pie-shaped wedges and push them ½” apart using a small spatula.  Brush dough with the remaining cream mixture.

Transfer pan to oven and bake until uniformly golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating once.  Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Serve scones with butter and jam.

Note:  the scones freeze well wrapped in foil or in a zip top bag.  Thaw and reheat briefly in a microwave oven.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad

Last Year's Post:Halibut Provencale
Two Years Ago: Turkey and Gruyere French Dip

The Perfect Holiday Salad
Brussels sprout leaves?  Yep, that's what happens when you use a little knife to cut the bottom off each sprout and peel off the outer leaves.  So why on earth would you want to take the time to do that?  Well, because after you blanch them and toss them with arugula and endive, they make a most beautiful and delicious salad.  It's worth the effort, trust me.  OK, maybe you don't want to make it every day, but it's perfect for large gatherings because the sturdy leaves don't wilt as the salad sits on a buffet table.  And it's the perfect salad for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner because the bright lemon dressing and crunchy, slightly bitter greens are a refreshing contrast to all the other heavy rich foods.

Peeling the Brussels sprouts does take a little time, but I've done way more time-consuming things in my life.  Think of it as a labor of love.  Or, recruit one of the relatives that are milling around your house (preferably one that you like) and peel together while sipping on a glass of wine and chatting.  Sounds very holiday-ish, doesn't it?

The only trick is figuring out how to peel the little guys.  You just take a small knife and cut off the bottom, then peel off the first layer of outer leaves.  Make another thin cut on the bottom to peel off the next layer of leaves.  Use your judgment regarding when to stop peeling - you want the bigger, greener outer leaves but not the core.

A quick blanch in boiling water helps set the beautiful green color and mellows the leaves just a little.  The dark green of the arugula and Brussels sprout leaves looks beautiful against the pale yellow and white of the endive.

A topping of toasted almonds is the perfect final touch.  If you don't like almonds you could substitute walnuts or pecans, but I really liked the almonds with the greens.

You can prep all the ingredients several hours in advance and refrigerate - just don't add the dressing or almonds to the salad until right before serving.  And you'll probably want to double the recipe if you're serving a big group as part of your holiday dinner.  Have fun!

Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad
Serves 4-6

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approximately one large lemon)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts
2 cups baby arugula
1 head Belgian endive
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl to combine.  Set aside.

Using a small paring knife, cut the end off each Brussels sprout and remove the outer layer of leaves.  Make another small cut on the end to release another layer of leaves, then remove a third layer of leaves in the same way.  Reserve the cores for another use.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil over medium-high heat; add the leaves and cook for 1 minute.  Remove immediately and place in a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain thoroughly in a colander, shaking to get rid of excess moisture.

Cut the end off the Belgian endive, then cut crosswise into ½” pieces. 

Note:  at this point the dressing, endive, arugula and Brussels sprout leaves may be refrigerated, covered, for several hours.  Do not add the dressing to the salad until right before serving.

Put the arugula, endive, and Brussels sprout leaves in a large salad bowl.  Add the dressing just before serving and toss together, then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.