3 lbs. large, firm Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbs. lemon juice
1 garlic clove
2 tbs. white-wine vinegar
2 tbs. honey
1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. thyme leaves
1 peeled pear, julienned
1 pound Pecorino Romano, grated
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Strip the Brussels sprouts of their outer leaves, and set the leaves aside. Holding each sprout by the stem, cut into very thin slices (use a mandoline), and then, with your hands, toss them in a mixing bowl to separate the layers. Toss the reserved leaves with 2 tablespoons of oil, and season with salt to taste. Spread the leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast in the oven until they’re crispy, about 10 minutes, before removing them. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the almonds in a small bowl with one tablespoon of oil, toss to coat, season with salt, and spread on a baking sheet. Toast the almonds in the oven for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Put the lemon zest and juice, garlic, vinegar, honey, and mustard in a blender. Blend at medium speed until the dressing is smooth, then slowly stream in the remaining oil. Once the dressing is emulsified, add the thyme, and pulse 2 to 3 times.
Before serving, put the sliced Brussels sprouts, roasted leaves, almonds, and pear into a large bowl, pour in the dressing, and toss together. Season to taste with salt (slightly underseasoning), then top with Pecorino.