After a season full of sugary cocktails, endless sweets and lavish meat-heavy dishes, we’re all looking to be our healthiest selves in 2019, especially if you made it past Quitter’s Day!  That said, there’s no reason to give up the essentials: tasty food & flavorful wine to pair.

To help you navigate your refreshed 2019 routine, Charles Smith Wines teamed up with James Beard-nominated chef Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy to create two mouthwatering (but animal-friendly) food pairings.  Putting an edgy spin on vegetable-focused dishes (a technique that put her on Nation’s Restaurant News’ The Power List 2018), the plant-based dishes offer an explosion of different flavors and textures.

 

Try Amanda’s Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Toasted Almonds and Pears – a big, bright dish that pairs perfectly with the 2017 Kung Fu Girl Riesling ($12.99 SRP, available nationwide).  The wine’s fresh minerality and laser focus cuts through the Asian flavors like a dry knife, while pushing the bitterness of the Brussels Sprouts and sweetness of the pears to the forefront of the palate. With this combo, you really taste those kickass vegetables front and center.

 

Chef’s Pairing Notes

Every salad should be amped up with an explosion of different flavors and textures, and this Brussels Sprouts Salad is no different.  This big, bright dish gets a spicy kick from chili pepper-coated almonds, a hint of sweetness from the pear and bitterness from Brussels Sprouts.  All bound together with a tangy dressing, the Kung Fu Girl Riesling cuts through these Asian flavors like a dry knife, while pushing the bitterness of the Brussels Sprouts and the sweetness of the pears to the forefront of the palate.  With this combo, you really taste those kickass vegetables front and center.

 

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:
4 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 pear, very thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cubed stale bread
1 cup hickory wood chips (available at most grocery stores or online)
1 cup raw almonds
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
Salt

STEPS:

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2) Line a heavy-bottomed pan with tinfoil so it doesn’t char. Then pour in wood chips and spread them evenly along the bottom.
3) Drop a steamer tray directly on top of the wood chips and place the cubed bread on the steamer tray. Note: if you don’t have a steamer tray, you can make your own out of tin foil with small holes poked in it.
4) Cover the pan and put in on the stove on high heat. Let it reach a full smoke before turning off the stove and letting the smoking bread rest, covered, for about 10 minutes.
5) While bread rests, strip the Brussels sprouts of their outer layers of leaves and set the leaves aside. Then, holding the sprouts by the stem, chop them into very thin slices with a chef’s knife. Toss the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl by hand to further pull apart the layers, so that the result almost looks like coleslaw before it’s dressed.
Pro-tip: use a mandolin to slice them into thin pieces if you have one on hand!
6) In a separate mixing bowl, toss the reserved leaves in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt to taste. Spread the seasoned leaves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook in oven until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
7) Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
8) Toss the almonds with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the chili pepper. Season with salt and spread them on a baking sheet. Toss the smoked bread in 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt, then spread on a second baking sheet.
9) Roast both the almonds and the smoked bread in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Pro tip: look for a light, golden brown color and then pull them out!
10) Make the dressing by putting all remaining ingredients except for the oil and thyme in a blender and blending until fully incorporated and smooth in texture.
11) With the blender still on, slowly pour in the remaining olive oil in a light stream. Once the dressing has emulsified, add the thyme leaves and pulse 2 to 3 times to incorporate.

 

To Serve

1. Toss the Brussels sprouts, bread, and thinly sliced pear together in a big mixing bowl.
2. Add dressing, salt to taste, and garnish with almonds.
3. Serve alongside a chilled glass of Kung Fu Girl Riesling.

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About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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