Growing up, you could gauge the seasons by my mother’s dinner table.

Pot roast was de rigueur for winter meals. Fried chicken heralded the arrival of summer. And cole slaw — draped in mayo or dripping with vinegar and celery seed — meant spring.

Yesterday, we basked in a rare sunny day. But with a cold wind blowing and temperatures a tad north of 50, it felt more like winter than Palm Sunday.

Still … that sun! I wanted something crunchy and fresh for our dinner table. Something that would lighten our meal but still be hearty enough to warm us.

This side dish was the perfect answer:

sprouts slaw

Sliced and shaved Brussels sprouts (cold weather!) combine with sweet, chewy apricots (summer!) in little more than salt, pepper and olive oil. Topped with toasted almonds, it’s a lovely complement to roasted meats yet filling and complex enough to stand on its own.

A little taste of winter; a little taste of summer … call it a slaw that binds two seasons.

Just like spring.

Brussels Sprout & Apricot Slaw

A client shared this recipe with me from a fall issue of “Real Simple” magazine. The amounts specified are truly guidelines. Use as much (or as little) of each ingredient as you like.

  • 12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Coarsely slice the Brussels sprouts, or grate them on the large holes of a box grater. (For extra texture do a little of both.)

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

Add the sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and saute just until they wilt a bit.

Add the apricots and almonds and stir to warm. Serve immediately, cool to room temperature or chill in the refrigerator.