I’m old enough to remember when iceberg was the only lettuce in the produce case, but it didn’t take long for other salad greens to take root. A young bride, I made first course salads for special diners with avant garde ingredients like Belgium and curly endive and watercress. Butter lettuces were starting to make regular appearances, and radicchio made an especially splashy entrance.
Not that many years ago, lettuces were gritty. When Maggy and Sharon were young, I pulled out my salad spinner almost as frequently as my Le Creuset pot. I remember making the switch to more friendly hearts of Romaine. And thanks to the partnership between Earthbound Farm and Costco, we now enjoy prewashed baby greens salads with regularity.
But the salad evolution continues. Now we’re massaging hearty winter greens and calling them salad. I haven’t broken it to Mom that the greens she used to cook for three hours are now being eaten raw. She’d just roll her eyes, shake her head, and smile.
Brussels sprouts is another vegetable we’re calling salad. It is funny to me that a vegetable hardly anyone would touch a few years ago is now a trendy fall salad.
I wonder what’s next? Moringa anyone?
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat, shaking pan frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place Brussels sprouts in large bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of oil. Using thumbs and index and middle fingers, massage Brussels sprouts between fingertips until softer in texture and darker in color. Add remaining 4 teaspoons of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; toss to coat. Add vinegar; toss to coat again. Toss in pine nuts and cranberries and serve.