Crunchy Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels sprouts have been cool and hip for quite a few years now, wouldn’t you say? Well, we couldn’t be happier about their revival on the food scene. Besides being delicious and all, they belong to the out-of-this-world nutrient dense vegetable family of brassicas (the cabbage family). Its nutritional profile is simply awesome – vitamins en masse, minerals high and low, cancer fighting phytochemicals left and right. Brussels sprouts in particular have significant amounts of vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and iron, in addition to some B vitamins and plenty of gut-friendly fibers. We’re sort of crazy about all the different members of the cabbage family and have devoted most of garden to growing them ourselves. Broccoli, dino kale, green kale and sweetheart cabbage all live right outside the door this time of year – but we haven’t yet tried growing Brussels sprouts! You can find the locally sourced ones in any regular store right about now though, so we’ll be cooking with them often over the next month or so anyway. With that said… go buy some!

When we lived in New York, we had a go-to pizza place down the street. It’s not that we were there all that often, but it had that very neighborhood-y feel you can’t help but to like (plus several vegetarian choices on the menus AND it was moderately priced). On top of it all, they had a delicious… kale salad. I KNOW. Not what one had expected, right? It was simple and nothing fancy, but the dressing was just to die for. Like, really. The dressing in this recipe draws a lot of inspiration from that one – a touch of soy sauce (or tamari), a pinch of dried ginger, a sweet syrup splash and a however-bold-you-want-it spoonful of red pepper flakes – and it pairs wonderfully with the crispy Brussels sprouts.

An end note on using a mandolin: I don’t know about you guys, but my thumb ends up a tiny bit shorter after every time I use a mandolin. It seems I can’t master the art of slicing vegetables, and vegetables only – I need to stick my fingertips in there too. However, it’s by far the best tool to use when approaching your little green sprouts. If you don’t have one, you can use either a food processor or just go about it using a sharp knife and slicing them thinly.

We like to serve this dish either as one of many (as in, let’s say, a part of your Thanksgiving or Christmas spreads) or as the vegetable part of our regular weeknight dinners – throw in a couple of bean patties and a scoop or two of some grain on the side and you’re all set. Hope you’ll find this as satisfying and yummy a fall meal as we do. Let us know!

För recept på svenska, klicka här: Crunchy brysselkålssallad

Serves 6 as a side dish

1000 g (2 pounds) Brussels Sprouts, sliced thin
200 g (1/2 pound) almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
150 g or 3 dl (1/3 pound or 1 1/3 cup) dried cranberries,  roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
1 medium apple, cubed

For the dressing:

2.5 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depends on your preferred level of spiciness)
Pinch of salt

Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the sliced Brussels sprouts for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in cranberries and almonds.

For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix in the dressing and the cubed apple with the Brussels sprouts, and serve immediately.


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