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An Answer to a Challenge - For Gabe

When my friend posted this on her Facebook wall, my culinary gears immediately started to spin.

She wrote: "So, Auntie Cam, Gabe has a food challenge for you...Tonight in his bath he was making a concoction in a cup. He added broccoli and cucumbers and noodles...then an interesting combo of strawberries and Brussels sprouts...I told him I was going to ask  you to come up with a strawberries and Brussels sprouts recipe for him. Any ideas?"

Of course I have ideas! And I just wish I could give my intrepid lil' culinary genius a hug and a kiss tonight. Thanks for the inspiration, Gabe. As soon as I get my hands on a stalk of Brussels sprouts, I am making this!

Blanched Brussels Sprouts Salad with Stawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
For Gabe with Love from Auntie Cam

Brussels Sprouts, as all cruciferous vegetables do, get bitter and sulphury when they are overcooked. You can do this salad raw, but I prefer to blanch the leaves so they are a little bit more sweet. This is a little bit labor intensive, but it's something that little hands can easily do.

Leaf the sprouts by pulling the larger leaves from the bud. Once it gets small enough you can just quarter the bud. Place these all in a large bowl or pan. Pour boiling water over the leaves and let them soak till they turn a bright, grassy green. It won't take very long. And definitely err on the side of too short versus too long. Remember that sulphur taste. Yuck.

In the meantime, make an easy strawberry vinaigrette. Mash a few ripe strawberries in a glass, add a few drops of balsamic vinegar, then add in a drizzle of (good) olive oil. If it's too sour for little tastebuds, add a splash of honey or agave nectar.

Toss the vinaigrette into the blanched leaves. Sprinkle with some dried cranberries and raw pistachios. Serve!

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