As we began testing recipes for the Thanksgiving side dishes, I realized that we hadn’t included one of my favorites: brussels sprouts. Alas, those crunchy vegetables too often come to the table overcooked, their bright flavor boiled into submission. I favor a preparation that allows brussels sprouts’ inner beauty to shine: using a mandoline, I shave the raw sprouts into thin slices and toss them with pecorino cheese and walnuts. I first tasted this slaw-like salad while cooking at Jonathan Waxman’s New York City restaurant Barbuto. I marveled at the salad’s crunch and the brilliant way the sweet flavor of the raw sprouts allied with the pungent cheese and the earthy nuts. Waxman makes salads like these all through the seasons, shaving root vegetables during the winter, asparagus in the spring, and zucchini in the summer, but it’s this salad that always winds up on my Thanksgiving plate.
A new preparation for a Thanksgiving stable: Brussels sprouts.