There's something my mother used to tell me quite often and, though I was just a kid, it drove me crazy every time she said it. I'm not sure if she used this one on my brothers and/or sisters but with me, she used this phrase frequently. I can still hear her saying it. It irked me to no end, even though it was true. "I can read you like a book!", she would say. It was mostly when I had shenanigans on the brain. And, almost without exception, she would circumvent my ideas before I even got started. Widowed at 40 years old, with 6 kids to care for, her motto was to "Always stay one step ahead of 'em.". And she did. And I didn't like it one bit, especially when she said the thing about "the book".
As I've grown older and I look back at my mom's intuition, I appreciate the fact that she kept tabs on me and it makes me smile. I think it's because, though many yeas have passed and I now have grown kids of my own, I haven't changed too much in this respect; while I like being dependable, I don't always like being predictable. I don't like being put in a box, people assuming that they know everything about me and exactly what my next move will be. How about you? Do you like it when others "peg" you and think they can "read you like a book."? Yeah, I didn't think so.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with Brussels sprouts. A lot. Many people have written them off, never to be re-visited. Do you still think of them as those abhorred, soggy and bitter veggies on the Thanksgiving table, you know, the ones you choked down with big swallows of milk, or better yet, lined up under the rim of your dinner plate, hopefully to be discovered when you were long gone? (Oh yeah, after one attempt, my mom had that one figured out too!) Maybe you've grown more tolerant of them, perhaps you even like them as they've come into "vogue" in recent years ............. roasted with smokey bacon ............... sautéed till golden with a myriad of delicious ingredients ............... becoming "stars" and "features" in autumn gourmet culinary magazines.
But they're still relegated or "boxed" into the Fall season, for the most part. I have a surprise for you. Brussels sprouts are a delightful, healthy addition to any season's cuisine. They're actually harvested in California from June through January and are available in larger markets year round.
I been buying beautiful bags of them at Trader Joe's all during this Spring season.
Okay, I have to be perfectly honest and tell you that when I was given the assignment by The California Avocado Commission to create an Avocado and Brussels Sprout Salad, I was sure that they wanted it for a Fall promotion. When I asked Angela, the marketing director about it, she said, "No, we won't be using it as a seasonal recipe.". Okay, now it was time to think outside the box (or the "book"). I let my imagination start swirling, tried a few different ideas and came up with this light, healthy salad that definitely knows no seasonal boundaries.
I decided to go with an Asian flair, slicing the Brussels sprouts into ribbons and adding shredded cabbage, sesame seeds and a handful of dried cranberries for a bit of sweetness. The dressing is bursting with delicious flavor and includes rice vinegar, honey, fresh ginger, canola oil and a splash of sesame oil. I also added a squirt of Sriacha for a bit of heat and contrast with the sweet honey.
With lots of fresh, diced avocado, these are definitely not the Brussels sprouts of yesteryear! Even if you think you don't like these miniature green cabbages, I think you'll be shocked when you take the first taste of this wonderful salad. It's a bit like opening up a brand new book, a delicious, never-been-read-before book!
We are compensated by The California Avocado Commission for our recipe development and photography, but the opinions are very much our own.
Click here for the recipe:
California Avocado & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Honey-Ginger Vinaigrette