Another fun recipe from Milk Street.

I’ve liked Chris Kimball since his early days at Cooks Illustrated. A bit of an oddball, but I can appreciate his approach to food. Besides, you have to be a bit of an oddball to be in the food business. I speak from personal experience.

The fun thing about recipes is knowing the ingredients are not chiseled in stone. His recipe called for dried cranberries – fitting for this time of year. Alas, I had no cranberries, but I did have dried cherries. (There are also dried apricots, raisins, golden raisins, and a half-dozen different nuts I could have used. Walnuts were open. I also added the steak, because I was making it as an entree, not a side dish. Us aging people need our protein.

Brussels Sprouts, Pears, Cherries, and Cheese

adapted from 177 Milk Street

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 ripe but firm pears unpeeled, quartered and cored
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 2 ounces fresh chèvre, crumbled
  • S&P, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil to serve
  • 8 oz sirloin steak, sliced thin

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the cherries and vinegar. Microwave uncovered until heated through, about 1 minute.

Thinly slice the pears and sprouts and mix into a large bowl. Add the cranberry-vinegar mixture, 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper; toss well. Let stand for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Toss in the nuts and cheese, then season with salt and pepper.

Plate, top with sliced steak, and drizzle with additional olive oil.


All-in-all, it was pretty good. The recipe is supposed to be a saladish side dish, but I think it would be better if the brussels sprouts were sauteed, first. It could still be served room temperature. They were just a bit too crunchy. The flavors were excellent, though.

With a couple of modifications, I can see this happening, again…