1. Quarter Brussels sprouts. Trim & discard stem ends. Pull off the outer leaves and set aside. Reserve cores.
2. In a large oven-safe skillet, toast hazelnuts until fragrant at 350°F for 10 mins, until golden brown w/ blistered peels. After removing from oven, transfer the hazelnuts to a towel to steam for a few minutes. Rubbing hazelnuts between the towel will help remove most of the peels. Chop the nuts, set aside.
3. To prepare vinaigrette, whisk the hazelnut (or olive oil), sherry vinegar & maple. Adjust sweetness to taste, then season with salt & pepper.
4. Return skillet to the stove top. Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Sauté Brussels sprouts cores until tender and browned in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the cores to a plate and set aside
5. Add more butter to the pan if needed. Sauté the diced shallots and sliced apples just until softened, 1 - 2 minutes. Add thyme. Fold in the Brussels sprouts leaves, cooking just to wilt the leaves slightly. Season with salt & pepper.
6. Return the sautéed Brussels sprouts cores back to pan. Drizzle with vinaigrette; just enough to lightly dress all of the ingredients without making things soggy. dAdd the dried cranberries and stir to toss all ingredients together. Turn off the heat.
7. Garnish salad with chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Recipe by The Kitchenista (Angela Davis)