Each week I do my very best to cook through our CSA, which has lately been filled to the brim with potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, beets, kale, cabbage, squash, and Brussels sprouts. To mix things up a bit and to satisfy a sudden craving for salad, I’ve been trying to prepare some of these foods raw—despite my inclination to simply roast everything in the oven in olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I tasted my first Brussels sprout salad at a taste panel (where food editors sit around a table and taste test foods prepared by the test kitchen for upcoming magazines) at work many months ago and I loved it. I hardly ever took food from panels back to my desk (though I admit to taking many slices of pie home for Josh!) but this salad was pretty addictive. I ate two bowls of it that day and have had it tucked into the back of my mind ever since.
This sort of salad has been popping up in food magazines lately (one is on the cover of Whole Living this month) and they are surprisingly delicious. I prefer to slice the Brussels sprouts thinly so that the leaves are shredded and to add other crunchy items to the mix. Since the flavor of the sprouts can be strong, a potent dressing is required—and a little cheese never hurt anyone.
And while, sure, you can never really go wrong with roasted Brussels sprouts, this is a nice way to change things up at the start of their peak season.
Crunchy Brussels Sprout Salad
1 lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced and stems discarded
1/4 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
1/4-1/2 cup shredded or diced cheese such as cheddar, optional
juice of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the sliced Brussels sprouts into a large bowl with the sunflower seeds and cheese if using.
2. Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, and shallot until combined. Mix into the Brussels sprouts mixture well, making sure that everything is well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Let sit 30 minutes or so before serving to let the dressing soften the Brussels sprouts slightly.
*Variations: Skip the cheese and add a diced avocado. Toss in a cup or two of diced and roasted butternut squash and a handful of dried cranberries. Serve with shredded rotisserie chicken or hard boiled eggs for a heartier main course.