When I mentioned to my dear husbanders that I was planning to make a Brussels sprout salad with raw Brussels sprouts from last week’s meal plan, he made a face. “Won’t it be too bitter?” “Can you eat them raw?” I smiled and told him we were going to try it out, “for the blog.” This is generally my excuse for trying all new recipes. I did my due diligence by reading up on raw Brussels sprouts and confirmed, that they are edible and delicious in the raw. To be honest, I was also afraid that they would be pretty bitter served raw, but I was willing to give it a shot — after all, we eat other cabbages raw in salads and slaws.
Because of the potentially bitter taste of the sprouts, I relied on the combination of apples, celery, golden raisins, blue cheese and hazelnuts for their sweetness and flavor impact to lift the raw sprouts to their glory. It was awesome. In fact, Omar gave me a resounding thumbs up and told me that I “hit this one outta the park.” I smiled and reminded him of his initial skepticism, which earned me a hug in return. We enjoyed the salad as a nice light lunch, then at dinner I used what was left of the salad and combined it with a bag of spring salad mix for a nice side salad with Ina’s minestrone soup.
This salad comes together very quickly if you have a food processor with a shredding blade or a mandolin for shredding the sprouts. Otherwise, slicing and shredding the sprouts one at a time will probably take some knife work. It does come together beautifully once the sprouts are shredded and you’ll impress others at your creativity for using Brussels sprouts in a new way. The result is light, tangy and there is almost no bitterness. It is delicious as a stand alone salad, but it would also work well as a mayo-less side slaw at a spring picnic or BBQ.
I’m thinking of more salad creations this week, since we had a lot of eating out last week and didn’t quite stick to my meal plan. With that, I’ll leave you with this week’s meal plan.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH APPLES, BLUE CHEESE, AND HAZELNUTS
1 12-16 oz. bag (about 1 pound) of Brussels sprouts
1 apple, cored and chopped – I used a Gala apple, but fuji or honey crisp would work too. You want a sweet, thin-skinned apple.
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts or almonds
1 Tablespoon mustard
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the Brussels Sprouts. Wash and trim the sprouts, then shred them using the shredding blade of a food processor or a mandolin. You can also shred them by hand by cutting the sprouts in half, then slicing them thinly.
Chop the apples. To keep the apples from browning, squeeze the juice of ½ of the lime over the chopped apples and toss to coat the apples in lime juice. Set aside.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, olive oil and the juice from the other half of the lime.
Combine the shredded sprouts, apples (with the lime juice), celery, raisins, blue cheese and hazelnuts. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste, then serve!