Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Manchego Salad with Fig-Maple Vinaigrette / by Chelsea Zwieg

Remember last month, when The New York Times published The United States of Thanksgiving and the entirety of Minnesota freaked out because no had ever heard of grape salad? In truth, I should have been doing the same thing because Tennessee's selected dish was brussels sprouts and, up until a few weeks ago, I had never even tried them. Of course, I'm pretty new to Tennessee and so didn't feel the need to go around creating hashtags like #grapegate and bemoaning the New York Times woeful misunderstanding of my Thanksgiving traditions. But still, how had I never tried them?!

But far be it from me to try something once and move on. Nope, I latch on. I made my first brussels sprouts for dinner, ate them with eggs for lunch the next day and have had them on repeat ever since. I've tried the pan frying method and it's just fine, but my favorite way to make them is oven roasted. They get perfectly tender and some of the outside leaves come out all curled and crispy. Mixed with tart, crisp apples and nutty manchego cheese, this dish is my new favorite way to eat them. This all gets finished with a tart but sweet fig-maple vinaigrette. 

And hey, now when people here talk about brussels sprouts (which has never happened ever. I'm beginning to think that article was just made up) I can join in like I've been bursseling my whole life. 

Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Manchengo Salad 

Serves 4

| Ingredients

  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup manchego cheese, grated (I like to get all fancy and make shavings with a potato peeler, but whatever floats your boat) 

| Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425. Line a large baking sheet with foil. 
  • Cut brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise. Toss with oil. Add mustard powder, pepper, onion powder and salt. Toss until sprouts are evenly coated. Arrange brussels sprouts in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. 
  • Toss with apples and manchego cheese. Serve with fig-maple vinaigrette. 

Fig-Maple Vinaigrette 

| Ingredients

  • 2 figs, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • salt, to taste

| Instructions | 

  • In small saucepan, heat figs and maple syrup over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until figs break down and the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a bowl. 
  • Whisk in red wine vinegar and oil until combined. Add salt to taste.