Pomegranate, Avocado and Brussels Sprouts salad

20130511-131448.jpg A quick, simple, colorful salad to present as an appetizer or side dish. Healthful with a combination of raw Brussels sprouts, avocado, pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts, in a singular lemon vinaigrette.

20130511-131730.jpg Ingredients:
2 lbs Brussels sprouts
1/2 pomegranate
1/2 avocado
3/4 cup pine nuts
1-2 Tbsp savory or thyme
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

20130511-131910.jpgWash the Brussels sprouts and cut off the stem ends to remove the outer leaves. Place in a large salad bowl.

20130511-131951.jpgKeep cutting off the stems another two-three times, each time removing more leaves and getting to the inner leaves.

20130511-132030.jpgEventually, you will be left with the hearts of the Brussels sprouts.

20130511-132114.jpg Slice the Brussels sprouts hearts thinly.
Personally I like using a classic 7-inch Santuko knife for almost everything. I find it most versatile and easy to maneuver with precision.

20130511-132228.jpg Add the thinly sliced pieces to the large, beautiful leaves in the bowl.

20130511-132306.jpg Cut the half avocado horizontally, then in thick vertical slices, and finally, cut more thick vertical slices perpendicularly. This way you will have ‘cubes’ of avocado. Add to the salad bowl.

20130511-132354.jpg Cut the pomegranate in half with a knife, vertically.

20130511-132429.jpgWorking with half the pomegranate and placing it over the salad bowl, pick the skin on the sides to expose a cluster of seeds in between the white membranes. This way you can easily detach each individual seed. Be gentle, as the seeds can be crushed and burst.

20130511-132720.jpgKeep assembling the salad this way, adding the pure and fresh ingredients one after the other.

20130511-132516.jpg Measure the raw pine nuts.

20130511-132624.jpg Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium low – low heat. This is the tricky part of preparing this dish as you must devote your attention to this task only at this time. It might seem slow at first, but just watch and occasionally toss the nuts around as they slowly begin to turn golden brown. The darker they become, the more intense the nutty flavor they develop, but they should not burn.

20130511-132809.jpgThe moment they are ready, stop the heat and transfer to a room temperature dish. This is the crucial moment where a few extra seconds will burn the nuts. The oil content of the pine nuts is high, and once they reach a certain temperature it is just a matter of seconds before they burn.20130511-132857.jpgPrepare a light lemon vinaigrette by placing the savory or thyme leaves, in a small bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

20130511-133029.jpg Pour the vinaigrette and toasted pine nuts over the salad and toss all the ingredients well and gently. Enjoy!

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