Brussels Sprouts, Prosciutto, and Manchego Salad

Here’s the recipe for the best brussels sprouts salad, including how to keep the vibrant-green color of this veggie intact.

The best Brussels sprouts salad I’ve ever tasted comes via Chef Lynn Pritchard of Table 128 Bistro + Bar in Des Moines, Iowa. And I snagged the recipe.

As many of you know, when I’m not in France, I’m in the great state of Iowa, where I’ve been writing about food for 20 years, for both local and national publications. One of my favorite assignments is covering the ever-advancing Des Moines dining scene for dsm magazine.

A while back, I started a new feature called “I Snagged the Recipe,” in which I sweet-talk our best local chefs into sharing one of their signature recipes with me. I absolutely insist on going into their kitchen with them and watching them make it. Tips and tricks that come naturally to them are the type of things they’ll omit when they just bang out a recipe’s ingredients and method (which, by the way, most of them hate to do). I watch and I ask questions.

One of my absolute favorite recipes of all time is this Brussels Sprouts, Prosciutto, and Manchego salad, by one of our city’s top chefs, Lynn Pritchard of Table 128. It’s a fabulous fall recipe–hearty and interesting, yet super-fresh, because we’re smack-dab in the middle of the harvest, after all.

PS: At dinner, Chef Pritchard serves this with a fried or poached egg on top as a first course. For me, that would constitute a light supper.

 

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, wilted outer leaves removed, and cut into quarters (about 3 cups)
  • ¼ cup Marcona almonds
  • ¼ cup diced La Quercia prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Champagne vinaigrette (see recipe, step 3)
  • Shaved Manchego cheese
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan bring 2 to 3 quarts salted water to boiling. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook about 2½ minutes or until tender-crisp. Immediately plunge into an ice-water bath. Let stand until Brussels sprouts are cool. Drain well.
  2. In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, almonds, prosciutto, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and the sea salt. Stir in the vinaigrette until combined. To serve, arrange salad on 4 serving plates; top each with shaved manchego.
  3. Champagne Vinaigrette:
  4. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil,
  5. tablespoon champagne vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine.

Table 128 chef-owner Lynn Pritchard shared these tips:

• The better the Brussels sprouts, the better the salad. Table 128 buys from local producers during the growing season
• Salt the cooking water well. “It should be salty like the sea,” Pritchard advises
• Use plenty of water and don’t overcrowd the pan—the water should return to boil quickly after adding the Brussels sprouts. Keep in mind the “boil-and-shock” method (that is, the quick cooking/quick cooling technique) is the key to the bright green color of the salad
• “Drain the Brussels sprouts aggressively,” Pritchard emphasizes. “They want to hold on to moisture.
• Do not be tempted to use extra-virgin olive oil. “It will add too much of its own flavor to the dish,” says Pritchard. A neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower, will let the other ingredients star.

 

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3 comments to Brussels Sprouts, Prosciutto, and Manchego Salad

  • I hate to sound pedantic, but …. Do you halve the brussel sprouts before blanching or after? Glad you mentioned not to use EVOO, because that is exactly what I would have done. We look forward at Thanksgiving when Trader Joe’s has huge stalks for sprouts. Almost everyone leaves the store with the stalks sticking out the top of their bags.

  • Sorry, I just re-read the recipe. Like Emily Latella – never mind. 🙂

  • Wini

    Yes–it’s in the ingredient listing: You quarter them before you cook them. Or, halve them if the sprouts are small.

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