I am Cucee Sprouts and I am proud to be a Sprouts. I come from a family of many distinguished vegetables and I can trace my roots all the way back to the early days of farming, to the time of Sprouts Senior.
This is Sprouts Senior, named Brussels, the first member to be recorded in our family history. Many seasons ago, as an organic seed, he was taken by the wind into a field that belonged to a large conventional farm. There, he sprouted into a handsome young vegetable. Growing up, he always felt different from the other vegetables. His petite shape, savory personality and layers of complexity made him stand out like a thorn amongst his tasteless, genetically modified neighbors.
One night, after shaking off the drops of toxic insecticide, he fell asleep and had a very strange dream. He dreamt of a different world, a place that was unlike anything he was used to. He dreamt of a farm that respected its crops, a farm that valued uniqueness and individuality of each and every vegetable. (Only much later did he realize that this was not a dream at all but rather a fainted memory of the farm from which he, a tiny seed, was taken by a bad weather storm weeks ago.)
The next few days, the memory of his home farm grew more vivid. After a while, he was so depressed that he could not absorb water, soak up chemicals, and synthesize carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. Finally, he realized that it was time to “come home.” One morning, as the falling moon flirted with the rising sun, Brussels, pumped on insecticides and aspiration for a sweet future, embarked on a journey that eventually brought him to the place that I call home.
Here, over the rainbow, Sprouts Senior found his dream. This is where he settled and started a new line of organic vegetables. His sprouted determination is the reason my family and I are here today.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
Adapted from The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market Cookbook and published for my friend Dafna
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup high quality grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup high quality grated pecorino/romano cheese
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound small Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, and sliced into fat slivers
- Slivered toasted almonds (optional)
- In a bowl, stir together the warm water, olive oil, cheeses, and a few good grinds of pepper. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water and oil in equal parts. It should be an “emulsified slurry”. The oil and water, which usually don’t mix, are held together by the grated cheese.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and toss until they are well coated.
- Add almonds (optional).
- Taste and add more pepper, if you like, and serve
This salad truly depends on the quality of ingridients. I always make it with the best cheese and olive oil. The ingredients can really make or break this salad!
Green wine (yes, there are green wines out there,) Stoller Vineyards 2007 JV Pinot Noir – Red Wine is a perfect pairing for this dish.