In a valiant attempt to force myself to eat something "raw" for lunch today, I found myself trying to justify an impulse purchase of Brussels sprouts.
Since when do THOSE two concepts come up in the same sentence??
I vaguely recalled a salad of raw Brussels sprouts from Quartino (the bar where me, Jen and the 10 East crew were near-permanent fixtures for the better part of 2008) and in a mad fit of culinary delusion, thought I'd attempt to duplicate the deliciousness...even though I had no recollection of any other ingredients.
But I pressed on, mindlessly chopping a dozen of the little suckers into razor thin shreds, eagerly awaiting some divine inspiration.
I'm partial to olive-oil based salad dressings but was afraid too much might drown out the flavor of the sprouts, so I put a tablespoon in my trusty Misto and gave them a couple of spritzes with a shot of sea salt.
By this time my enthusiasm started to wane. And I was getting hungry.
I stared at them for a moment, half-hoping they would start whirling around like a tornado and suck in the appropriate ingredients by virtue of some innate flavor magnet.
But they just stared back at me...waiting.
I stuck my tongue out at them. They didn't even flinch. I really wanted to hurt them. Perhaps a tablespoon or two of lemon juice would sting a little. Hmmm. Worth a try.
They were silently mocking me.
Now faint with hunger, I absentmindedly grabbed the pepper grinder, which I forgot I had used the night before to grind some corriander seeds, and started twisting away. I got through a few turns before I realized that it was corriander (NOT pepper) that was flying about. But what the hell, I was feeling sassy. And a little light-headed. So I kept twisting...
Revived with an inexplicable sense of accomplishment for this obscure spice experimentation, my confidence grew and I proceeded to dance around the kitchen, knocking over the fruit bowl with one grand sweep of my microphone...er, fork.
A lone pear rolled itself away from the protection of the pack towards my cutting board. Sadly, this story does not end well for him.
While mixing in his yummy little bits, I spied some pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a pile of dates leftover from the Vegan Truffles I made the night before. A handful of each met with the same fate.
Before I knew it, a lovely, fresh, surprisingly delicious salad appeared before me.
Of course, the real test with be dinner with the FranKats tomorrow night!
Update: The recipe was taste-tested the following night and garnered rave reviews.
Here's the recipe, Cara. Enjoy!
Citrusy Pear & Brussels Sprout Salad
12-16 raw Brussel Sprouts, washed and thinly chopped (toss cores)
1 pear peeled and chopped
A handful each of raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds
A handful of dates, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or a few Misto spritzes)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Ground sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Optional: a couple of turns of ground coriander seeds (accidental but good)
yields: 2 cups (approximately one soup bowl or two small plates)