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brussels sprouts with lemon and parmesan

(post, Elizabeth Stark)

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Last week our daughter spent a week with her grandparents. It was great--Brian and I explored Brooklyn and pretended we were young and childless again. Friday night, despite the deluge, we ventured out to Frankie's in Carroll Gardens for dinner with friends. We all really enjoyed the simple and elegant food. I had the house-made tagliatelle bolognese; the sweet potato and sage ravioli, and the pork braciola marinara were also enjoyed. We all started the meal with some roasted cauliflower and shaved brussels sprouts with castelrosso.

Everything we had was delicious, but I thought there was something particularly fascinating about the sprouts. Delicately shaved brussels sprouts with a robust lemon and rich cheese flavor--I couldn't stop thinking about it. So, we picked up some brussels sprouts on Thursday and I made what turned out to be more of a lemon sprout slaw. It was ok. We picked up some more sprouts on Friday, and I finally got it right. Using the mandoline slicer on my food processor, the prep was super easy, and the results were delicious.

We had the sprouts as a satisfying side with dinner, and then I enjoyed the leftovers with my eggs and toast for breakfast. It's nice to have a taste of spring from a vegetable that has been around since October. Grow spring vegetables, grow!

Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Parmesan

1 lb brussels sprouts, washed with core removed
1 tablespoon diced preserved lemon if you have it, or zest of 1 lemon if you don't
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon or more sea salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan
pepper to taste

Use the mandoline attachment on your food processor, a mandoline slicer, or simply chop to reduce the sprouts to fine ribbons. Sort through and slice up any sprout rounds. Put the sprouts into a large serving bowl.

In a small bowl or glass, combine the preserved lemon or the zest, the juice, salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Whip with a fork until everything is nice and emulsified. Drizzle half of the dressing over the sprouts. toss, and wait five minutes. Taste, and then add more dressing or salt as needed. I ended up using all of the dressing, but the sprouts absorb the dressing and wilt rather well, and it is best to avoid over-dressing the dish. When the sprouts are dressed to your satisfaction, toss in the parmesan and pepper, and serve.

This salad with keep very well overnight, though it's best eaten within a few hours of making it.