The Calm Salad by Roseanne Carrara

In October, Nathalie invited me to attend a luncheon at Toronto’s Dish Studio to celebrate the
launch of Izzy’s Eating Plan. In her first foray into nutrition, fashion designer and entrepreneur
Izzy Camilleri takes a relaxed approach to eating sensibly as opposed to “dieting.” She’s
developed a 1-2- 3 system for approaching meals which has worked so well for her that she wants to share her message with others looking to nourish themselves, fuelling their body and soul. [You can check out Izzy’s Eating Plan here. And, for a bit of a primer on the plan, see Kate
Bilowas’ summary on Style Democracy.]

At the launch, I was inspired by the menu created by Chefs Carlos Laville and Giovanni Meyer,
particularly the small appetizers and infused waters meant to nourish skin, bones, and heart. A
simple slaw of Brussels sprouts, citrus, and healthy oil was my absolute favourite. So, of course,
right after the event, I picked up a pile of Brussels sprouts to play around with.

After a few hits and misses, I came up with a salad of shaved Brussels sprouts, currants, pecans,
and Piave Vecchio that’s already become my go-to recipe for parties and special events. I see it
as the ultimate in “calm.” Certainly, there’s nothing calm about the flavours. But, if you bring
this salad along to your holiday fêtes, you know you’ll have something both delicious and
sensible to eat. Well nourished, you can then be more picky about the piles of sweets that catch
your eye.

So, without further ado, here’s my recipe for The Calm Salad.


The Calm Salad: Brussel Sprouts with Currants, Pecans and Piave Vecchio
Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2/3 c pecan slices
2/3 c dried currants
1 c boiling water
1 scant cup [120 g] shaved Piave Vecchio or Parmesan
1/4 c fresh lime juice [about 3 limes]
2 tbs shallots, diced [about 1 large]
1 tbs tsp lime zest
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger [optional]
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c olive oil
2 tbs good honey
additional salt and pepper to taste
*Please note, this is a flexible recipe. Feel free to play with the fruit, nut, and cheese add-ins and
the acid profile of the vinaigrette.

Prepare the salad base
1. If desired, heat an oven to 350, spread the pecans on a pan, and lightly toast them for 5
2. Soak the currants in boiling water until reconstituted, about 5 minutes, and then strain.
3. Use a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler to “shave” the cheese into thin bits and curlicues.
4. In a food processor fitted with the slicing disk,** or with a knife, thinly slice the Brussels
5. Place the sprouts in a serving bowl and mix in the currants, nuts, and cheese.
**NOT the cheese grater. See this guide to food processor blades, if necessary.
Prepare the vinaigrette
1. In a small serving cup or gravy bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the oil, honey, and
additional salt and pepper.
2. Add the oil and stir until emulsified.
3. Add the honey by the teaspoon until the mixture reaches the sweetness of your liking. [I
use the whole amount.]
4. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Dress the Salad

1. Just before serving toss the vinaigrette into the salad by the heaping tablespoonful, until it
is coated to your liking. Brussels sprouts tend to be fairly thirsty. So, do feel free to use
the entire cup of dressing.
2. Allow the salad to sit for 3-5 minutes so that the vinaigrette can work its magic.


Roseanne Carrara blogs at The Smelling Salts Journal

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