Everynight after my husband goes to bed, which happens to be pretty early these days considering he has to be to work at 5:00 am in the summertime, I head straight over to Hulu and hang out with my best friends: Ina, Giada, and Bobby.
And yes, in case you were wondering, we are on a first name basis. They are pretty much my best friends and we do everything together. We drink wine, throw cocktail parties, discuss cooking tips, have grill nights and champagne brunches, and whenever Ina leaves the room we always have a lot of fun, even though she tells us not to have any fun without her.
Ok, so the part about us actually hanging out might be a little bit of a lie, but a girl can dream, right?! Whether they know it or not (I’m 100 % sure they don’t know it) they have kept me company many a night. I get so much of my culinary inspiration from cooking shows and if I could pick only one t.v. station to watch for the rest of my life, it would, hands down, be the Food Network and I would never get bored.
It was while watching Giada that I was inspired to make this salad. (Giada’s original salad recipe) Giada’s aunt Raffy, who I find hilarious, was on the show and she exclaimed that she had never had a brussels sprout leaf salad before. I love brussels sprouts so much and I eat them all the time, but I realized that I had also never had a brussels sprout leave salad before either!
I immediately ran out to the store, stocked up on brussels sprouts and came up with this salad. I added quinoa to mine because I always like to throw some type of grain into my veggie salads so that I can eat it for dinners and lunches and still feel full. And, I decided to throw some apricots in because I love the idea of combining fresh fruit with savory salads and I think that apricots and brussel sprouts work really well together, it also doesn’t hurt they they are bright and beautiful!
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and eating lot so delicious summer salads! I know I am!
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 1 head Belgum endive, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 apricots, sliced into small wedges
- ⅓ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Rinse and drain the quinioa. In a medium pot, add the quinoa and two cups of water. Place on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed and quinoa is cooked through. Set aside.
- Remove the outer leaves from the brussels sprouts, you can save the insides for another use. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil, throw in brussels sprout leaves and cook for about 1 minute. Remove brussels sprout leaves and immediately throw them into a bowl of ice water. Let them sit for a few minutes to stop the cooking process.
- In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
- In a large bowl add the quinoa, brussel sprout leaves, sliced apricots, sliced endive, toasted almonds, and dressing. Mix until combined.
I’m not necessarily one for dressing cats up in outfits, but you gotta admit that Cheeto looks pretty darn cute in his little tie!