A friend came over for lunch today and we commiserated with each other on motherhood. She has just gone through the grueling college application process with her twin boys and I’m about to take Angela on a college tour next month. I don’t know when it all began, but it seems that the college admissions process has turned into a war that requires endless amounts of strategy.
I was told that in some cultures in the ancient times, children would be chased out of the house into the wilderness at a certain age, and they were not supposed to come home again until after they’d hunted a tiger. The rite of passage for today’s kids is not any less difficult, except the “tigers” they are sent out to hunt are those ever elusive brand-name colleges.
Much like the ancient times, there is not much mothers can do to help their children hunt the “tigers.” All we can do is love them. As we ate this delicious salad, our conversation quickly turned from the stress of college application to the joy of food — the balm that cures almost anything.
Roast Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad
Ingredients for the sweet hot mustard:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. coarse ground Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar or honey
1/4 tsp. Sriracha sauce
Ingredients for the salad:
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 cup (125 g) black walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 red apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced
1 Tbs. honey lemon peel (optional & see note)
Preparation for the Sweet Mustard:
In a bowl, whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar and Sriracha sauce. Reserve 3 Tbs. mustard for the salad; refrigerate the rest for up to 4 weeks.
Preparation for the Salad:
Preheat oven to 450F. Wash, trim and cut the brussels sprouts. Coat sprouts with 2 Tbs. olive oil in a roasting pan. Roast for 15 to 17 minutes or until tender. Take out and set aside.
In a large nonstick fry pan, heat 1 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high. Sauté the shallots until slightly browned.
Toss together brussels sprouts, sliced apples, walnuts, shallots with 3 Tbs. sweet mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve.
I squeezed some fresh lemon juice on the sliced apples to prevent them from turning yellow.
Sometime ago, Audrey made lemonade with about 10 lemons. The lemon peels looked so fresh and smelled so fragrant that I saved them. I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and let marinate in the fridge over night. The next day I boiled about 4 cups of water. When the water was boiling, I squeezed dry the peels, discard the pulp still left in them, cut them into slices and then added the peels to the pot and brought it to boil again. Then I drained the peels and transfer them into a glass jar, soaked in honey. They turned out delicious.
Recipe inspired by: