Alton Brown’s Apple, Cranberry and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Alton Brown, food guru and host of “The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs” helps us figure out one of the dishes that should be on our Thanksgiving table this year.
 
“This dish is autumn on a plate,” says Brown. “The Brussels sprouts, nuts, cranberries and apples complement each other perfectly, not only from a standpoint of flavor but of color and texture.  From a technique standpoint it’s nothing more than a cooked salad, and yet, the resulting elegance makes this a perfect side dish for the holiday table.  And, when you consider the nutritional punch of the ingredients, it may just be the most healthful thing you’ll eat all winter.”
 

Apple, Cranberry, and Brussels Sprouts Salad
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2011
Yield: 6-8 servings
 
1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed
3 ounces pecans, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
.25 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
4 ounces dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 large fuji apples
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
 
1. Slice the Brussels sprouts using the thinnest slicing disc of a food processor.  If you do not have a food processor, you may slice thinly with a knife or a mandoline.
 
2. Set a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium high heat and add the pecans.  Cook, stirring continually, until the pecans darken in color and begin to give off a toasted aroma, approximately 2 minutes.  Add the butter to the pan and stir to combine. Once the butter has melted, add the Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and cook, stirring continually, until the color brightens and the sprouts are just tender, approximately 6 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat, add the cranberries, toss and cool slightly while preparing the apples.
 
3. Chop the apples into fine matchsticks using either a knife or the julienne blade on a mandoline. Toss the apples with the apple cider and nutmeg.
 
4. Add the apple mixture to the Brussels sprouts, toss to combine well and serve.


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