Chef Kevin Johnson
The Grocery, Charleston, South Carolina
Brussels Sprouts Salad
“Our extended family is not big on bringing new things to the table, so at this point, I feel like I’m the ‘Brussels salad guy’. A traditional southern table is filled with so many savory, and somewhat rich, items that I love that this offers an acidic bite, crunchy vegetables and bright fruit and herbs. It can sit around quite a while and still be delicious. A typical salad starts to go downhill quickly, but the Brussels leaves have the ability to hold their own for quite some time. It allows you to focus on more of the time-sensitive last-minute details.” — Chef Kevin Johnson
- 1½ pounds Brussels Sprouts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup chiffonade of mint
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, very thinly sliced
- 1 cup sumac vinaigrette
- ¼ cup minced shallot
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sumac
- ⅓ cup champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- To separate the Brussels sprouts into leaves, snip the root end off of the bottom with a sharp paring knife. Carefully cut out the core in a circular pattern, going about a ¼ of the way into the brussels sprout. Alternatively, you can use a tomato shark to scoop out the core. With your thumb and forefingers of both hands, push the top of the sprouts into the bottom inverting it. The leaves will all separate.
- Working in batches, depending on the size of your sauté pan, heat a very small amount of olive oil in a large sauté over high heat. Just enough oil to make a thin sheen in the pan.
- Quickly sear the onion and fennel, seasoning with a touch of salt and pepper. Cook just enough to take the raw edge off of the vegetables while retaining their crunch.
- After each batch is seared, place them into a large mixing bowl over the leaves. This step can be done about 30-45 minutes before serving.
- To assemble, add the pomegranate, feta, apples, walnuts and mint to the bowl.
- Dress with just enough vinaigrette to coat everything. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
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