Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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I used to hate Brussels Sprouts… I mean, that’s how we are supposed to feel right?

They are strange little things. Tiny cabbages that are usually served cooked to death with little to no flavor… how else are we supposed to feel except hateful? One of my best childhood friends, Mindy,  has always loved them, and I remember thinking how crazy weird she was for liking something as alien as a Brussles Sprout!

But my eyes have been opened to how magical they can be. And now I literally can’t get enough of them! My goal is to make you a believer…a Brussels Sprout convert, if you will.

Enter: the raw Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with bacon, toasted walnuts, apples, parmesan cheese and a champagne vinaigrette. Goodness gracious it’s SO GOOD! (for a printable version of this recipe, go to the link at the bottom of this post!)

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Get some cute little tiny cabbages from the market… chop off the ends. At this point you have two options…

Option #1: Feed them through a food processor fitted with the slicing blade. This is my method of choice because it’s super fast and will make really thin and consistent shavings.

Option #2: If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mandolin OR a really sharp knife and just slice as thinly as you can.

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Cook up a few slices of bacon. (The easiest way to cook bacon is to line a sheet pan with foil, place a cooling rack on top and then lay your bacon slices on the rack. Put the pan in a cold oven, turn it on to 425 degrees and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crispy enough for you)

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Chop up the bacon and dice the apples.

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Toast your nuts, people! Toasting them makes such a HUGE difference in their depth of flavor in whatever dish you are adding them to. Place about a cup of walnuts on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Then chop them up!

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Now make your vinaigrette. Take a mason jar or other small container that has a tight-fitting lid and add your ingredients.

Throw in about 3 tablespoons of mustard.

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Mince half a small shallot (you’ll need about a tablespoon) and add that to the jar along with 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsps champagne vinegar, kosher salt and pepper to taste and then shake well to emulsify. Side note: if you don’t have champagne vinegar lying around, you can use apple cider vinegar… no need to lose sleep over that!

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In a medium bowl, add your shaved sprouts, bacon, walnuts, apples and a good amount of parmesan cheese. Drizzle in the vinaigrette – just enough to coat all of the ingredients, but you don’t want your salad to swim – so drizzle judiciously! (that’s my SAT word for the day.. I’m done now.) Toss to combine, plate and add more cheese to the top! (Because: CHEESE)

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Isn’t it beautiful? I don’t usually call salads beautiful.. but THIS one.. it seems fitting, don’t you think? And this absolutely gorgeous plate from Anthropologie doesn’t hurt, either. I was in Nashville recently, and went on my usual pilgrimage to the Green Hills store… and even though I tried desperately, I couldn’t walk out of the store without this plate! And honestly, why try to resist my dish demons? It’s pointless if we are all being honest with each other.

<sigh>

I do hope you will try this out and then let me know what you think!

For a printable version of this recipe, click this link: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Food styling by Abbye & Lindsey. All photos ©Lindsey Edwards.