The flavours of this salad emulate those of a traditional Salade Lyonnaise (especially if you add a poached egg, which I often do if I want a more filling lunch) which traditionally uses frisée salad and bacon lardons. The raw brussels sprouts hold up well to the vinaigrette and I love the texture of this particular cut for them.
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 lb brussels sprouts
2 Fuji apples (or another type that is crisp and sweet, such as McIntosh), unpeeled and cut 1" dice and dressed with a squeeze of lemon to prevent oxidation
1 lemon, for apples
1/2 lb pancetta, cut 1" dice
5 slices of white bread, stale or dried out in a 300F oven for 10 minutes
1 shallots, peeled and finely minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons for the breadcrumbs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Use a mandoline to shave the brussels sprouts very finely (about 1/16" thick), holding each by the base. It does take longer to do each individually, but I find that using the slicing disc with a food processor often makes cuts that are too small so you lose the nice ribbons of sprouts that you achieve with the mandoline.
For the vinaigrette, combine the shallots, sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the shallots soak up the vinegar. Stream in the extra virgin olive oil while whisking to make the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the shaved sprouts with the vinaigrette and set aside to let the sprouts soften a little while you prepare the other ingredients.
For the bread crumbs, tear the bread slices into smaller pieces then pulse in the food processor until they reach a coarse sand texture. Heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add the bread crumbs, stirring often to make sure they don't burn. When they have reached a lovely golden brown colour, transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet tray and set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the pancetta and saute for about 5 minutes until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
To serve, toss the dressed brussels sprouts with the pancetta and apples then garnish with the toasted bread crumbs.