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Brussel Sprout and Pear Salad

Brussel Sprouts. Growing up, I hated them.

Actually, I didn’t eat my first one until a few years ago, but that’s a minor detail. I knew everyone hated them. Therefore, I hated them too. 

One of my best friends loves brussel sprouts. It was one of those things that was always in her refrigerator. For years, she would cook them in white wine and shallots and eat them straight from the pan. The entire dish sounded absolutely fantastic, and she’d make it often, but I just couldn’t bring myself to try it. Because I hated brussel sprouts.

A few years ago, my parents were feeling adventurous and bought what was probably their first box of brussel sprouts. We’ll save you some, my mother said. You’ll love them. Thanks mom.

As soon as I picked them up, the questions started. Did you make the brussel sprouts? When are you going to eat them? If you wait too long, won’t they go bad? The questions were then followed by the guilt. Your father and I saved them for you. If we knew you weren’t going to eat them, we wouldn’t have gone through the effort. There was no choice. I had to cook and eat them.

And they were DELICIOUS. Crispy and delicious. 

Closed-mindedness and preconceived notions can cause you to miss out on so many excellent things. 

This salad is simple and wonderful. Get over whatever you’ve got against brussel sprouts and make it. 

Ingredients (makes one serving):

  • 1/2 cup or more of Brussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pear
  • 2 tablespoons of goat cheese
  • juice of half a lemon
  • pepper to taste

Make the salad:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the outer leaves and stem from sprouts and cut the large one in half. Toss with one tablespoon of olive oil and the salt and spread out on a baking sheet.

Roast at 400 degrees until the brussel sprouts are browned and crisped, about twenty to thirty minutes.

When the brussel sprouts are still warm, toss with the lemon juice and remaining olive oil. 

Thinly slice a pear.

Add the sliced pear to the brussel spouts and toss to coat with the dressing. Serve on a plate with the crumbled goat cheese and as much ground pepper as you like.