a warm, shaved brussels sprout salad full of bacon, manchego cheese, roasted hazelnuts, and cider syrup
1. Combine the apple cider and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until thickened and syrupy. Turn the heat off and reserve for the salad.
1. Add the diced bacon to a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Allow the bacon to render until crisp, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut each brussels sprout in half. Place the flat side of each brussels spout onto the cutting board. Use your knife to thinly shave them by cutting each spout very thinly.
3. When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Add enough olive oil the bacon fat left in the pan to generously coat the bottom. Heat over medium heat. Add the shallots. Sauté until tender and caramelized, just a few minutes. Transfer the shallots to a plate.
4. Add a little bit more olive oil to the pan. Once hot, add half of the brussels sprouts. Season with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Let them sauté just a few minutes until tender and caramelized, yet still hold some color and texture.
5. Transfer them to a plate and repeat with the remaining brussels sprouts. Once the second half are cooked, add the shallots and first half of sprouts back to the pan.
6. Raise the heat to medium high. Add the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Let bubble and cook for a few minutes. Taste the mixture and season with more salt and black pepper as needed.
7. Transfer the warm salad to a plate. Use a peeler to “shave” the manchego cheese over top. Garnish with the hazelnuts and fresh thyme leaves. Drizzle the cider syrup over top or serve it on the side.