Gizzi says: 'I’m a total dweeb right now about autumnal foodand my excitement levels for Halloween are going through the roof. This month, I’m even heading off to a farm in Kent to pick my own pumpkins. This time of year works really well for one of my new food obsessions too, which is sprout salads. I was in LA last year and the farm-to-table scene has totally exploded over there. First introduced back in 1971 by one of my food heroes, Alice Waters of iconic Californian restaurant Chez Panisse, the idea is that we need to be more conscientious about meat production. It encourages people to consume really great produce from local organic farms, eating less, but better quality meat along with shedloads of vegetables. This has created a load of cool young chefs who are doing FANTASTIC things with veg. So this month, my recipe is a seasonal salad showing three different ways of turning the ordinary sprout into a serious game-changer of a salad. Brussels sprouts come into season in October and I’m all about doing what the Californians are doing – shredding them and using them as a base for a salad. Using them like this will change your life. The robust leaves hold onto dressing in the most dreamy way and this means that you can dress your salad before you leave for work and it won’t have gone wilted and soggy by lunchtime. Here are my three favourite ways with sprouts – one in the style of a Waldorf salad; one with a tangy pomegranate, pistachio and sumac dressing and one in a simple Italian style with Parmesan, lemon juice and roasted almonds.'
THREE SPROUT SALADS
Your sprouts need to be very thinly sliced. You can either do this by hand using a knife, or whizz them through the shredder/slicer attachment of your food processor. Don’t do as I did and try to cut them using a mandolin slicer or you’ll risk tearing your knuckles!
01. A TWIST ON A CLASSIC WALDORF SALAD
In a serving bowl, mix 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons natural yogurt, 3 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Add 300g shredded sprouts to the bowl. Leave to macerate for 15 minutes, then add 100g halved seedless grapes, 1 sliced apple, 60g walnut halves and freshly chopped tarragon before serving.
02. WITH POMEGRANATE, PISTACHIO, HERBS & SUMAC
Place 300g shredded sprouts in a serving bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, 6 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Leave the sprouts to macerate for 15 minutes, then sprinkle over the seeds of 1 pomegranate, 100g chopped pistachios, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 teaspoon sumac, then serve.
03. WITH PARMESAN, LEMON & ROASTED ALMONDS
Place 300g shredded sprouts in a serving bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 6 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning. Leave the sprouts to macerate for 15 minutes, top with 30g finely grated Parmesan and 100g roasted Marcona almonds, then serve.