07 November 2013

Brussels Sprouts Salad


It's Brussels Sprouts Season, and this recipe could change your mind about Brussels sprouts! They are traditional on festive autumn and winter tables, even though so many people don't like them. Even if you think you don't like Brussels sprouts, try this recipe. When I told my husband I was making Brussels sprouts for dinner, he began groaning and begging me not to. I told him to trust me. When dinner time rolled around, that man was loving the sprouts; he even had seconds! 

Raw Brussels sprouts are completely different from cooked. So if you've tried boiled, steamed, stir fried and roasted to no avail, try uncooked. Slice them very thin. If you don't have a food processor, use your sharpest knife. They're easier to slice if you cut them in half, lengthwise through the stem end, so as to have a flat surface.

If you are vegetarian or just don't eat bacon, maybe throw in a handful of toasted nuts instead. You might need to add another splash of olive oil and wine vinegar just before serving, if the sprouts have absorbed all the dressing.

Brussels Sprouts Salad

(Makes 12 servings)

4 ounces bacon, diced (I use organic uncured bacon)
1 small shallot, minced
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved through the stem end and very thinly sliced
3 or 4 medium carrots, coarsely shredded
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons country Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 In small skillet, cook diced bacon until very crisp; remove bacon with slotted spoon. Pour clear bacon drippings into small bowl, leaving the little brown specks in the skillet. Wipe out the skillet, return 1 tablespoon of the drippings to the skillet and cook the minced shallot until soft; remove from heat. Whisk in vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

2 In 3-quart bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, carrots and bacon. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning, also adding more vinegar and oil if you think it needs it. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

PS: Special traditional meals also need Perfect Mashed Potatoes!

20 comments:

akeeme said...

This salad sounds delish! I'll have to make it two ways so thank you for the vegetarian options. Me? I'm having it with bacon! Time to shop for Brussels. I like when they are still on the stock. Not sure it makes a difference but it looks cool. Easy to follow recipe and directions. Thanks!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thank you! Hope both versions turn out well for you. I don't know if it's always true, but I always feel like that kind are fresher than the ones that are sold loose.

Angie Schneider said...

And I love the season! Brussels sprouts and bacon are a dream team if you want something hearty, flavoursome and delicious!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Thanks, Angie! There are so many wonderful ways to fix them, it's hard to choose!

Cranberry Morning said...

Sounds good to me, although bacon gives me a fierce headache. But I just bought a big bag of Brussels sprouts. Now I've another recipe for them. Thanks! :-)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, thank you. I think nitrates and other additives are responsible for a lot of the problems people have with bacon. Have you tried the uncured bacon from Niman Ranch, Applegate Organics, Beeler's, etc? That's what I always buy these days.

Richard Sheppard said...

Ok, so I've been getting sick of the smell of roasted Brussels that my wife has been making lately so I send this recipe to her today. This was her response: "OK, this looks hella good. Do we have any bacon? If not, I'm gonna pick some up in the next couple days. LOVE YOU!"

Not too shabby, huh?! Win, win. : )

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Richard, how cool! One of the best comments ever! Hope you enjoy the sprouts!

Jenn S said...

I guess I'll have to give Brussels sprouts one more try.. I have never been that big of a fan, but they have always been cooked ... The salad does look great!!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Jenn, do give it a try. And let me know how it turns out for you! You can't like cooked sprouts any less than my husband does, and he loved this recipe.

Tony Grant said...

For years, in fact, as far back as I can remember, it has been my job, in our house, to prepare the Brussels sprouts on Christmas Eve ready for cooking on Christmas Day. I always go through the same process. I remove the outer leaves to reveal the fresh layer underneath and then take a sharp knife and cut a deep cross shape into the top of each sprout. It takes me forever. Then, last year, on the radio, I heard somebody say, that we shouldn't cut a cross into the sprouts. I always thought the cut helped the sprout cook better. Because each sprout is such a tightly packed ball of leaves, if you didn't cut them the inside might not cook properly. That was the theory i alwys worked on.
I am in such a quandry!!! To cut or not to cut, that is the question, is it nobler in the pan to help them boil or is it a bloody waste of time!!!!


Jean, can you settle this question for me?

Thanks in anticipation,
Tony

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Well, Tony, whenever I cook Brussels sprouts whole, I always cut the little cross in the stem end. Even if they would cook just as well without it, I would still do it--because, like you, that is how I've *always* done it! We can't stop now!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

This is the first time I’ve ever been in the majority on anything. Brussels sprouts (or BS as I call them fondly) are the drug of choice for assisted suiciders. OK, I made that up. But why anybody would process that alleged organic matter by boiling etc. is beyond me. Attempt to drown it? Detox it? My theory is that it was an attempt to find something to wrap Egyptian mummies in that wasn’t biodegradable. However…must say the photo you took makes a compelling argument for edibility. The stuff actually looks like crisp lettuce, and you add the right stuff. Moreover, your husband – that cast-iron sailor – actually ate it. Yo ho ho. Check his pulse and 90 days and let me know, please…

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Too funny! But you might actually like this crisp and cold version. I grew up with a mother who was a great cook who also was into nutrition and all that, so I grew up eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables--and avoiding chemicals and phony stuff!

Unknown said...

Brussels sprouts are my friend. Yep. I'm not afraid to admit that. GREG

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Greg (sippitysup.com), glad you can admit to your fondness of Brussels sprouts!

Melissa AuClair said...

Mmm- sounds amazing. I would have never thought of preparing brussel sprouts like this! I think I have some in the fridge- great idea for dinner!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Melissa, thanks so much for commenting! I hope the recipe turns out well for you.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We love brussel sprouts and I try not to over cook them. I've never served them like this but it sounds good! We eat a lot of salads here in FL year round!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Lavender Dreams, I'm sure you never overcook your Brussels sprouts! If you try them this way, do come back and let me know how you liked them.

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