Brussels Sprouts Leaf and Baby Spinach Sauté
- 1 Pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon white-wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 4 Cups baby spinach
- 2 generous pinches of salt
- 1/2 Cup Marcona almonds
If you are the cook around the house, you know how sweet the words "I love this. Please make it again!" sound. This side has become my go-to dish for something quick and pretty, as I love the juxtaposition of the two shades of green. After you remove the leaves from the Brussels sprouts, this takes only minutes to prepare. Brussels sprouts are miniature balls of cabbage, so their stems can be pretty tough. By working from the outermost leaf inward, and cutting more of the stem whenever necessary, you follow the pattern of the sprout to easily remove its leaves. You can do this part in advance, but you'll want to sauté them just before serving.
Marcona almonds are blanched Spanish almonds that are sweeter than American almonds. They can run on the expensive side, but I have seen them at both Trader Joe's and Costco for a reasonable price. You don't need a lot of them, but their flavor is really special on top of this plate of tender greens.
Working with one Brussels sprout at a time, peel each individual leaf, starting from the outside and working toward the middle. Continue to peel until you get to the tough core where it is just too tight to pull any more leaves. Discard the core and put the leaves in a big bowl. Repeat with the remaining Brussels sprouts.
Over medium heat, warm the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add all of the Brussels leaves and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the vinegar and maple syrup and toss to coat. Add the spinach to the pan and toss until it is just barely wilted. It is better just slightly underdone in this case, as it will continue to cook in its own heat.
Sprinkle with the salt and Marcona almonds and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.