A few Saturdays ago, J and I took a nice long walk through Central Park. After Mile 5 or so, our tummies started to growl and we made our way to a new-ish (opened in 2014) restaurant on the Upper East Side for refreshments. Five Mile Stone is a dressed-up beer bar with a killer menu to boot. Their name comes from some fascinating NYC history, as well.
J chose the Allagash White while I tipped my hat to some maternal family history and went with the Bronx Pale Ale. Mine had huge flavor and a wonderfully sharp, bitter aftertaste. I really enjoyed it.
Though impressive-looking, we weren't in the mood for heavy brunch plates. We opted to split the lamb sliders and a shaved Brussels sprouts salad. I am beyond glad that we did.
They were INCREDIBLY delicious. I loved this food so much that it inspired two posts. Today's focuses on the crunchy, sweet, and fresh Brussels salad and tomorrow I'll focus on the lamb. It's worth the wait, I promise.
The salad as delivered to us is composed of shaved Brussels sprouts, apple, toasted hazelnuts, shaved pecorino cheese, and an apple cider vinaigrette.
I loved the burst of fruitiness from the apples and the big crunch of the hazelnuts. A few nights later, I tried to create my own version of it.
I thinly sliced a bunch of Brussels sprouts, soaked the slices in water while I prepped everything else, then drained them before adding to the bowl. I chose dried cranberries as the fruit here instead of fresh apples. I added 1/2 cup each of the cranberries, blanched hazelnuts, and crumbled feta cheese (I like the salty balance to the sweet & tangy cranberries).
I also made my Favorite Vinaigrette OF LIFE. It's a Smitten Kitchen creation and I love it on so many things. I have it written down to keep it close by in the kitchen.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons wine vinegar (I usually use red, but have used champagne vinegar)
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
For this Brussels salad, I swapped maple syrup for the honey and canola for the olive oil to let the other flavors shine through a bit more.
I served this with a pretty simply seasoned steak (just salt and pepper, then cooked on a cast iron skillet). I also reduced 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar down to 1/4 cup and drizzled that over the steak.
So, let's get back to this salad, shall we? Thank you, thank you, thank you, Five Mile Stone for the inspiration. You have two great crunchy aspects with the fresh Brussels and the hazelnuts, sweet and tangy from the dried cranberries, plus salty and creamy from the feta. Topped with a maple Djion vinaigrette, this salad is one of my new favorites.
I didn't forget about the gorgeous, juicy lamb sliders - in fact, I still dream about them weeks later. I planned an entire meal inspired by them that I can't wait to share with you tomorrow!