How José Andrés turns Brussels sprouts into a vibrant, light salad
For years, one of the most popular dishes at Jaleo in downtown Washington has been something that José Andrés came up with on the fly after a tour of the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market. It’s a salad of Brussels sprouts and seasonal (summer-turning-to-autumn) fruit, dressed simply with a sherry vinaigrette and garnished with salty cubes of jamon serrano, the prized ham of his native Spain. But according to Jaleo executive chef Ramon Martinez, it wasn’t until Andrés decided those sprouts should be separated into individual leaves that the salad became sublime.
Does it help to have a team of sous-chefs who can prep all those little sprouts? Sure. But if you have a sharp paring knife — and are serving four rather than a restaurant full of patrons — the work goes quickly. Now that Brussels sprouts are easy to come by much of the year, this vibrant salad seems just as appropriate as spring turns to summer.