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So you have to bring a side to Thanksgiving…

Brussel spout salad at Rouge Tomate, via wellandgoodnyc.com

“Just bring a side,” though meant to be comforting words to a Thanksgiving guest, can produce panic.

After all, the Thanksgiving meal, headlined by a bland turkey, is kind of like a movie starring Tom Hanks where the burden is on the supporting actors to keep things interesting.

We suggest surprising your hosts with this sexy Brussels sprout recipe from Jeremy Bearman, executive chef of Rouge Tomate, one of the city’s healthiest modern American restaurants. Chef Bearman created this popular seasonal menu item using blanched leaves of the sprouts for a crunchy salad. There’s no mistaking their refreshing flavor for the sour, overcooked English boarding school version.

Not only are Brussels sprouts in season, they’re nutritionally dense little nuggets. Four to five sprouts contain the adult daily requirement for vitamin C. They’re also rich in folate, potassium, vitamin K, fiber, and beta carotene.

Need a hostess gift? Bring a stalk of sprouts. They keep in water for about a week.

Leaves of Brussels Sprout and Roasted Anjou Pear Salad
(Serves four)

4 cups Brussels sprout leaves, blanched
2 cups sliced Anjou Pear, lightly roasted
¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted
2oz Prosciutto, julienned (optional)
2 Tbsp lemon peel, julienned
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp hazelnut oil
4 tsp balsamic vinegar reduction
Salt and pepper to taste

Once ingredients have been chopped and prepared, combine oil and lemon juice and toss with the Brussels sprout leaves. Assemble four salad plates and place 1 cup of the sprouts on each plate. Next arrange ¼ of the roasted Anjou pear on each plate. Garnish each plate with the prosciutto, lemon peel, and hazelnuts. Drizzle a teaspoon of balsamic reduction over each plate and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.