BRUSSELS SPROUT SLAW WITH PINE NUTS AND POMEGRANATE

Last night we dined at The Pass again with friends.  There were some new surprises on the menu.  First was “Snacks,” which included this oyster sitting on salsify linguine, a foie gras ol’ fashioned that was like a gummy bear for grown ups, and a fun twist on Pocky made with white chocolate and kalamata olives:

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Next came “Ham & Eggs” which began with a cracklin’ the size of a platter:

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It was accompanied by “Caviar Service” which was presented in a caviar tin and had a layer of creme fraiche, topped with a confetti of things that you would find with a traditional caviar service (having never had a traditional caviar service, I had to take their word for it), including dehydrated egg yolk, capers, red onion, and buckwheat, and topped with hackleback sturgeon caviar.  This was one of my favorite dishes of the evening.

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A surprise course arrived in a ceramic egg, and had a lemon granita topped with a white chocolate freeze-dried ice cream sphere (which was tinted yellow to create the illusion of an egg yolk):

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Our waiter directed us to tap the “yolk” with our spoon, and I think we may have actually giggled as it shattered into pieces.  Accompanying this was a bottle of house made vanilla and cocoa nib soda, the whole effect intended to be reminiscent of an egg cream:

010Another new course was “Fernet,” which was a chocolate ganache ribbon planted with a miniature forest of ingredients rumored to be in fernet–which I had not heard of until last night–including mushrooms and absinthe.  There was also fennel ice cream and beet cake on the plate:

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This dish had a lot of interesting flavors, but the presentation was what everyone was talking about.  All it needed was a little gnome sitting under the mushroom, and the forest scene would have been complete:

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Also new on the menu was “Cheese,” consisting of itty bitty doughnuts and a very ripe cheese.  This was fun, but I have to admit, I really loved the macarons that made up the cheese course on our last visit.

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I love this restaurant.  End of story.

My family was not treated to anything nearly as amazing for dinner at home tonight (nor will they ever be), but everyone was content with grilled steak, mashed potatoes, and this Brussels Sprout Slaw with Pine Nuts and Pomegranate.  The recipe is adapted from one in this month’s Food and Wine magazine.  The hazelnut oil and pomegranate really dressed up this humble vegetable, and my family declared this recipe a keeper.

BRUSSELS SPROUT SLAW WITH PINE NUTS AND POMEGRANATE
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Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, finely shredded
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup pine nuts
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, vinegar, mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Toss together the brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over and toss until well combined. (Note--salad is best if prepared about 1 hour before serving.)

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 Who knew brussels sprouts could be so fancy?

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