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Blanched Brussels-sprout leaves with toasted hazel nuts

Michael Graydon/The Globe and Mail

Servings: 6

Ready time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

1½ pounds Brussels sprouts

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons whole, unpeeled hazelnuts

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Half a lemon

Freshly ground pepper

Method

To remove leaves from Brussels sprouts, trim off bottom with a small, sharp knife; the outer leaves should come off easily. Once leaves are removed, trim again and remove the next few layers of leaves. Continue until all that’s left is the tightly bound centres of the sprouts (save these for use another day). There should be around 4 cups of leaves when all the sprouts are trimmed.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath with ice and cold water in a large bowl and keep nearby. Blanch the leaves until bright green and tender (around 45 to 60 seconds).

Using a slotted spoon, immediately plunge the leaves into the ice bath and leave for 5 minutes.

Drain the leaves in a colander and then spread them across a paper towel-lined baking sheet to dry.

Toast the hazelnuts in a small pan over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant.

Remove to a mortar and pestle and crush to an uneven texture (a food processor can also be used).

Place sprout leaves in a large bowl or platter.

Toss with olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish with hazelnuts and serve.

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