Monday, March 18, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans and Cranberries

We're almost into spring (although it still seems like it's too cold to be spring quite yet) and so I'm trying to get my fill of different winter fruits and vegetables.  We're having roasted butternut squash this week as part of our menu and the other week, I made this Brussels sprouts salad.  I like Brussels sprouts  (try them roasted or sauteed) but had never had them raw before.  I really enjoyed this and didn't find the Brussels sprouts taste to be overwhelming.

The apple cider dressing was great on this! I loved the pecans, cranberries, and gorgonzola -- it's a classic combination -- but I also think this would be great by substituting walnuts and parmesan.  (The only thing that kept me from making that was the fact that I would have to grate the parmesan and that means cleaning our cheese grater.  Yes, I can be that lazy.)

Usually with salads, I don't put the dressing on the entire salad because lettuce is so delicate and any leftovers wilt with the dressing.  However, since Brussels sprouts are heartier than lettuce leaves, it was easy to just dress the entire salad and the leftovers were just as delicious the next day.

Brussels Sprouts Salad
Taken from: Two Peas and Their Pod

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1/2-1 cup roughly chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional, I omitted for part of the salad)
  1. Rinse brussels sprouts and remove any damaged or dirty outer leaves. Place on a cutting board and slice off the hard root end. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the brussels sprouts (you could also use a mandoline or food processor to do this). When you're done, use your fingers to gently separate the leaves so that the shredded sprouts resemble a very fine slaw. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Optional (I actually omitted this step and kept the pecans raw): To toast the pecans, place a medium frying pan on the stove top. Turn on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a single layer of pecans. Stir frequently with a spatula until they start looking darker and you can smell the toasted nuts. Remove from heat and spread out on a plate to cool to room temperature. Make sure you watch the pecans closely, they can burn pretty quickly and they will keep cooking after removing them from the pan.
  3. For the dressing, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a small jar.  Put a lid on the jar and shake until mixed well.
  4. Add the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and blue cheese to the chopped brussels sprouts. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all of the ingredients are well coated. Serve.


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