There is no better smell than sautéed leeks on the stove. It reminds me of family gatherings of holidays past and warm meals being prepared with love by Grandma as the air chills the windows from outside. American Thanksgiving crept up on me this year since we were away last week, but I really wanted to share this recipe. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, but I never pass up an opportunity to use food as a way to gather…. to come together and celebrate each other and our blessings.
It was just the four of us this year at our table: my husband and I, Knox, and of course Harvey at our feet. My quick, healthy menu consisted of a homemade cranberry sauce (easy peezy…just cranberries, maple syrup, fresh ginger, and a bit of orange juice), this bomb ass Brussels sprouts dish, Kale and Caramel’s Shaved Kale, Fennel and Asian Pear Salad, free range, local roasted turkey breast, and mashed potatoes with celery root (I can’t make mashed potatoes without parsnips or celery root! It adds so much flavour!). And of course, don’t forget the vino!! As I looked around the table, I couldn’t believe all that has happened since our last Thanksgiving. As any mother would say, I am beyond thankful for the biggest blessing of my life: my little boy. He brings such joy to my life…sometimes I don’t know how I got so lucky.
Cheers to another year of many blessings! Hope you all had a bountiful Thanksgiving!!
Warm Winter Brussels Sprout and Butter Bean Salad with Pecan Tahini Dressing
Serves 4 as a main; 6 as a side
Inspired by Green Kitchen Stories
1/3 cup pine nuts
½ a fresh pomegranate
1 lb of brussel sprouts , 4 cups
1 Tblsp ghee or coconut oil
1 can of butter beans, drained and rinsed or dried butter beans*
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons pecans
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 Tblsps fresh orange juice
1/2 Tblsp tahini
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
Prepare the dressing: In a food processor, grind the pecans and olive oil until a paste forms. Add the orange juice, tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard. Pulse until well combined. Set aside.
Toast the pine nuts: in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until toasty and fragrant. Stir frequently, being careful not to let them burn. Set aside.
Remove the pomegranate seeds: cut a pomegranate in half. While holding half in your hand, cut side down, bang the skin with a wooden spoon, releasing the seeds into your hand. Pick out the white membrane and set the pomegranate seeds aside.
Prepare the brussel sprouts: trim the brussel sprouts by cutting off the stubby end and removing the outer leaves. Cut each brussel sprout in half, lay each half down on a flat surface, and slice thin into shreds. Set aside.
Cut off the dark green portion of the leek. Slice the leek in half length-ways, then slice thin. In a large skillet, combine the leeks, ghee or coconut oil, and sauté for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the brussel sprouts, half at a time, and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the brussel sprouts and leeks to a large bowl. Stir in the pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and butter beans. Toss with the dressing.
*If you would like to use dried butter beans, pick through the beans and remove any dirty or damaged beans. Soak the beans over night in fresh water (3x the amount of water to beans), and remove any “floaters” (these won’t cook properly). In the morning, rinse off the water, and add beans to a large pot with more fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1.5 hours. Add salt then cook for another 1-1.5 hours or until tender. Drain and use as you would canned beans.