We can’t be sure when, but at some point in living memory, Brussels sprouts managed a public relations coup. Though in days gone by they were the quintessential “yuk, vegetables!” poster child, the once-scorned sprout has been transformed into the doyenne of winter/fall seasonal produce.
Part of this successful makeover has been a more careful approach to cooking these delicate brassicas. Where once they boiled into a contemptible greygreen mush, nowadays the goal is to preserve their delicate sweet flavor and enjoyable crisp texture.
To that end, we used a multi-pronged tack combing the raw, crunchy leaves with the cores cooked delicately sous vide, after which they’re browned in a bit of bacon fat (an excellent partner, and perhaps another element of their improved rep), producing deliciously browned results without losing a nice al dente bite.
You end up with a crazy good (and properly seasonal) salad that satisfies on multiple levels. No one will be saying “yuk!” to these beauties, that much we’re sure of.