Brussel sprout, hazelnut, bacon & lentil salad

Shaved-Brussel-Sprouts-Salad-21-682x1024I’ve never outgrown my childhood abhorence for brussel sprouts… OR SO I THOUGHT!

What I have recently discovered is that, like almost every ingredient you can think of, they are in fact all great when used well. It just turns out I don’t like those boiled brussel sprouts of yesteryear (sorry Mum!) – and frankly I don’t think I’m alone in that. Yeesh!

Throw some cream in on the other hand, maybe a little bacon perhaps or some duck fat and suddenly they are yum yum yum!

Which brings me to this recipe… certain weirdo members of my family adore brussel sprouts in all their forms. As part of this years christmas feats, in a plan to deliver a salad that was anything but boring but globally appealing this is what I made. And let me tell you, it’s freaking delicious. I won’t deny that during the eating, you’d never actually cotton on that it’s primary ingredient is brussel sprouts so make of that what you will…

I did prettify a little by sprinkling some leftover pomegranate over the top. Purdy!

Ingredients
6 brussels sprouts
2 pears
1/2 cup hazelnuts
3 slices bacon
1 cup De Puy Lentils
1/2 cup olive oil
2 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
salt/pepper to taste

Gear
2 medium/large saucepans
1 salad bowl for serving
1 small dry frypan
A bowl or two for ingredients that have been prepped but are in a holding pattern

Method
Bring two pots of water to a boil. One for the lentils, one for blanching the brussel sprouts.
Cook lentils for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, shred brussel sprouts by hand or in a food processer. Set aside.
Cook bacon to a crisp and lay to rest on a paper towel until cooled. Chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.
Roughly chop hazelnuts and toast in a dry pan for 5 minutes until browned but not burned. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine olive oil, dijon, honey, red wine vinegar, and salt/pepper.
Toss shaved brussels sprouts into the boiling water and blanch for no more than 1 minute.
Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water immediately. Dry with a salad spinner.
In a large bowl combine sprouts, cooked lentils, chopped bacon, and toasted hazelnuts.
Slice the pear into slivers – you could julienne but I just went with chunks.
Fling the pear over the salad. Toss lightly before mixing in the dressing. Taste test for extra salt or dijon.

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