A typically creative and glamorous winter salad from the chef who made her name regaling gourmets as well gardeners at Petersham Nursery near Richmond. It's a boon if you can't resist sprouts on the stem, which keeps them fresh but often means far more sprouts than you could ever need unless you happen to have the Waltons for Christmas. Use well-aged Parmesan if you can't find Pecorino, and cured ham if speck is not to hand.
The elegance and concentrated fruit of white Graves or Pessac-Léognan would match this stylish salad.
Janet Wynne Evans
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- 6 Brussels sprouts
- 180g aged Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- 2-3 celery sticks, washed
- 20 shelled hazelnuts
- Half a lemon
- Sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 12 slices of speck
- Small handful of curly parsley, leaves only, very finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 180C°/Gas 4. Wash the Brussels sprouts and pat dry. Using a small, sharp knife, slice them as finely as you possibly can and place them in a bowl. Shave the cheese into fine shards, varying the thickness slightly to add interest. Add to the Brussels sprouts. Peel the celery slightly with a swivel vegetable peeler to remove any stringy bits, then cut into shorter lengths and add to the bowl.
Scatter the hazelnuts on a baking tray and warm in the oven for 20 minutes until the nuts are lightly coloured and release their flavour. Let cool slightly, then rub in a cloth to remove the skins. Chop the nuts roughly and set aside.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad, season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle over three-quarters of the extra virgin olive oil. Toss together lightly with your fingers.
Place a slice of speck on each plate and arrange half of the salad over it. Drape another slice of speck on top and then arrange the rest of the salad on top, finishing with a couple of slices of celery and a final slice of cheese. Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and scatter over the hazelnuts. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
This recipe comes from My Favourite Ingredients by Skye Gingell (Quadrille, 2008)