When I buy Brussels sprouts, I immediately think to steam them and toss with browned butter. I’m the only one who eats them between my husband and myself, so that’s always how I prepare them. I may actually love Brussels sprouts more than any other vegetable. And I like them to shine like the mini cabbages they are.
Until today, I’ve never had a Brussels sprouts salad. What? They’re just so good the way I serve them, that I’ve never gotten very adventurous with them. But I put an end to this nonsense today.
Salads of Brussels sprouts are raw. That’s right, simply shaved or sliced and then tossed with a vinaigrette. The vinegar “cooks” and softens the sprouts, just as lime juice cooks fish in ceviche. It’s simply the acid doing its work.
So I bring to you a recipe I adapted from reading many different recipes for Brussels sprouts salads – this one a bit more festive, since it is that time of year!
Salad of Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts, served with an Apple-Maple Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive or hazelnut oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt.
Combine these ingredients in a mini blender.
Blend until smooth; set aside.
First, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts using a knife or the blade fitting on your food processor. Or, use a mandolin like I did. However, since getting a tip from Richard at REMCooks.com, I have purchased a Kevlar glove to use with the mandoline, to avoid any emergency room trips.
Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts, without getting too close to the stem ends, which are woody. Slice as many as desired; I only made a small salad for myself. How big a salad you make is up to you.
Add some of the dressing and toss. Then let the Brussels sprouts sit for about 30 minutes to let them soften.
The hazelnuts and cranberries can be tossed in with the salad, but I chose to just sprinkle them on the salad itself.
I served my Brussels sprouts salad with some grilled salmon, but just about any protein would work.
verdict: The salad was very cabbage-like, which is fine, because I like cole slaw, which is also cabbage. However, I think I prefer my Brussels sprouts hot with browned butter.