Manhattan: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Manchego, Marcona Almonds and Fried Shallots works double-time as a salad or appetizer

(Note the gold holiday ball in the right hand column of this blog. Perhaps some of my past holiday recipe blogs can be of assistance to your meal planning in the next couple of months.)

Last week was spent with three lady friends in Manhattan soaking in (breathless) as many museums, plays, Halloween revelry, and….of course—food!—as we could inhale without falling face forward prone.

There’s no city like New York, and last week’s visit was less costly and more entertaining for me than past trips; certainly more user-friendly than when I lived there. Shopping accommodations on the internet are one reason; Ubering and small-plate sharing could be other reasons. And the town’s more inviting and relaxing because it’s cleaner and safer than past decades have witnessed.


Use your sharpest knife to shave into thin slices; 1/16th of an inch.


Use a vegetable peeler to shave cheese; grate the bits that fall apart.


Fry shallots until crispy taking care not to burn.


Serve the dish as a salad or on crostini.

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We divided our stay between a midtown Airbnb (convenient to theatres and museums), and a charming boutique hotel downtown in Greenwich Village (The Marlton). Its cozy hotel bar, complete with crackling fire, was rife with late-night action. Plays we saw included last year’s Pulitzer Prize winning, Disgraced, and the wildly popular, wildly amusing, Kinky Boots and Book of Mormon.

We noshed on tender Beef Cheek Ravioli with Squab Liver and Truffles on Halloween at Babbo, dirt-cheap dumplings and sesame pancakes with duck at Venessa’s Dumplings (skirting Chinatown, close to the Tenement Museum on the lower east side). We shared and slurped our way through a variety of  ramen at Ippudo, accompanied by steamed buns, flash-fried octopus and mushrooms. We sampled from other eateries here and there —lobster rolls and Vietnamese sandwiches in Chelsea Market; even in the touristy Times Square jungle, all of the food was very good.

The following is a recipe similar to a Raw Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Sheperd’s Basket Cheese and Marcona Almonds we shared at a Jean George‘s restaurant,  ABC Cocino. I couldn’t find their exact recipe and I don’t have access to the local cheese they used, but the cheese tasted like a Manchego, which I used in the recipe below.

You know brussels sprouts and all of its incarnations have “arrived” when you see them displayed, shaved, in cello pre-packs at your local Trader Joe’s. And you could save time by using these, but I prefer the bright taste of the freshest brussels you can locate, and the precise razor-thin cut that only your sharpest chef knife can wield.

If you enjoy flavors typical of Spain, this salad has your number; it’s to die for scrumptious and I’m finishing off last night’s leftovers as I write these words. A quick trot through shaved brussels sprouts cyber-land reveals a host of other preparations, some shavings paired with apples and a cider vinaigrette, others with truffle oil and Reggiano, for example.


Chelsea Market throbs, bursts at the seams, with gustatory pleasures.


Chelsea Market alley scene; dude needs a sandwich!


Andy's soup at MOMA.


Count on the Metropolitan Museum to walk off your lunch.


Scenes from Central Park; lunch at the Boathouse.


Make my boots a pair of sequined reds; size 7 1/2.


Pork buns at Ippudo.


Great lines on the High Line.


Pork Belly Banh Mi at Num Pang sandwich shop in Chelsea Market.


A gent decked out in Halloween regalia. He said he owned a Belgium beer bar around the corner.


Halloween street scene in the Village.


Only very dull people neglect to don a costume in this neck of the woods.


Debbie's dessert.


The dish that inspired this blog.

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In conclusion, if my words inspire a visit, plan ahead to save cash. We organized the trip several months in advance; even so, the best Air B&B’s were almost booked. Center mezzanine tickets are less costly, but they sell must faster than other tickets in their price range. Babbo and ABC Cocino insist on reservations made (and be precise!) 30 days in advance.

Recipe: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Manchego and Marcona Almonds


  • 1/2 cup grape seed or canola oil
  • 1 large shallot; thinly sliced and separated into rings with fingers (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 pound (about 14 large) Brussels sprouts (note the larger ones are easier to work with)
  • 1/2 cup roasted Marcona almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 pound Manchego cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 4 dozen crostini or other sturdy cracker, if using salad as an appetizer


  1. In a small sauté pan, heat oil until a bit of shallot sizzles when tested. Fry shallots until golden brown about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Monitor often to ensure they don’t burn. Drain on paper towels; reserve. (May be made several hours in advance.)
  2. In a large bowl, make a vinaigrette by combining oil, vinegar and syrup.
  3. Trim ends of Brussels sprouts. Using a a very sharp knife, shave sprouts as thinly as possible to one 16th of an inch. Remove large core pieces. You should have about 4 cups.
  4. Toss shaved sprouts with vinaigrette and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (Keep in mind the cheese will add additional sodium when it is added.) This may be made up to 3 hours in advance, refrigerated.
  5. When ready to serve, toss with almonds and shaved cheese. Spoon over crostini, if using as an appetizer, and garnish with reserved fried shallots. Or divide onto small plates if using as a salad.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4 cups of salad or (apx.) 3 dozen crostini

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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