Brussels Sprouts, those round spheres that resemble baby cabbages, are often roasted in the oven, or sauteed in a hot pan. The flavors are slightly bitter, but when cooked, become sweet and tender. Thinly shaved raw Brussels Sprouts are great in salads, instead of romaine, spinach or other winter lettuces because of their unique taste and texture, and they absorb the flavors of a vinaigrette.
You can find Brussels Sprouts on stalks or loose in bags at the grocery store, or farmers markets. I have grown Brussels Sprouts a few times in my yard and I wasn’t quite sure how to harvest them? Do I cut they whole stalk down or simply cut each bulb off the base? Well, as it turns out, most farmers cut the whole stalk down then remove each round sprout.
Shaving Brussels Sprouts is a simple task, especially if you have a food processor – just use your slicing attachment. If you don’t have a food processor, a good knife works just as well. The thinner you make the slices, the better, because the sprouts break down easily into tender greens when tossed with the vinaigrette.
This salad is much more than just a pile of winter greens, it’s loaded with Pecorino cheese, dried cranberries and tossed in a champagne vinaigrette. The combination is divine and is truly reminiscent of the season. It’s delightful to serve for the holidays because you can make the entire salad ahead of time.
6 cups fresh Brussels Sprouts, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 bunch Lacinato kale or other variety
6 ounces Pecorino cheese
1 cup dried cranberries or sour cherries
salt & pepper
1/3 cup champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/2 clove of garlic
pinch of salt & pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1. Wash Brussels Sprouts and pat dry. Using your food processor or knife, shave finely. Remove kale from stems and rough chop into fine pieces. Add both Brussels Sprouts and kale to a large bowl.
2. Dice Pecorino into large chunks and grate finely in food processor, or use a box grater. Pour cheese over top of greens and add cranberries, set aside.
3. In food processor or blender, add all vinaigrette ingredients except olive oil and puree until combined. While processor is running, drizzle oil in slowly until slightly thickened. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Enjoy!