Raw Brussels Sprout Salad!

All I can say, is that Nigel Slater is a genius.

I rediscover this every time I read anything he’s ever written.  But, for this point, he is a true genius.  In his latest tome,  Tender, which I am officially proclaiming to be my Favourite Book Ever, he makes the point that “raw brussels sprouts are a revelation”, and after trying them for the first time this week, I am inclined to agree with him.

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Thinly sliced, and tossed with grainy mustard, lemon zest, and walnut oil, they make a gorgeous raw salad all on their own.  I also think they’d be perfectly matched to a sharp & stinky blue cheese, and some walnuts.  Mmmm.

But . . . I decided to add a bunch of other veggies and fresh baby spinach to them, and came up with a great springy salad.  The best part of the salad?  Some unbelievable one-year-old unpasturized* local goat’s cheese from Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co. – they have a stand each Saturday at the Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market. I love to go and chat with Dave, “my cheese guy”, who sold me on this cheese as soon as he explained that they started this goat’s cheddar a year ago as a test batch, that happened to turn out so well that it will be a regular cheese for them starting next year.  What he had now was the limited run of the test batch — and I am overjoyed that I was able to snag some!  Sharp and incredibly flavourful, this may be my favourite cheddar yet… and I love my cheddars.  So, into the salad it went.  And it was perfect with the mustardy brussels sprouts!

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Raw Brussels Sprout Salad

Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Tender.  Serves 2 hungry people as a main course, or 4-6 as a side salad.

  • 1 punnet brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a cucumber, diced
  • 1-2 oz. aged cheddar, cubed
  • Grainy Dijon & Lemon Dressing to taste (recipe below)

Toss brussels sprouts with enough dressing to coat and let marinade for about 30 minutes.  If you don’t have a lot of time, you can skip the long wait, but at least leave them to soak up the flavours while you chop the other veggies.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, carrots, onion, and cucumber.  Add brussels sprouts and toss.  Taste to see if you need more dressing — I find this salad needs more dressing than most others… Add the cheddar, toss lightly and serve.

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Grainy Dijon & Lemon Dressing

This makes more than enough dressing for the salad, but this way you have some on hand for a quick salad later in the week!

  • 2 Tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2″ nub of fresh ginger, microplaned or grated
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. jalapeno flakes (optional, or could replace with red peper flakes for zip)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small jar, and shake until emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

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*Did you know that unpasturized cheese can be sold in Ontario, as long as it’s aged over 60 days?

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Categories: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetarian

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5 Comments on “Raw Brussels Sprout Salad!”

  1. Francesca
    June 10, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    oh oh oh oh!! brussels sprouts are this huge trend here! raw, shaved, roasted, in pasta, in dumplings…

  2. June 10, 2010 at 6:53 am #

    What a beautiful & fantastic looking healthy salad & I so love the special lovely dressing!!

    MMMMMMM,…stunning pictures too!

  3. June 10, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    You’re so right, he is a genius. What is particularly gratifying is that all of his recipes can be used as jumping off points.

    I love where you have taken his raw brussels idea. I had never thought of using them this way before. Great recipe.

  4. September 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    I love Brussels Sprouts but I’ve never really had them “raw” until now. I love your recipe but I also want to share mine with you – my recipe is so simple but SOOO good!!! http://cuceesprouts.com/2010/09/shaved-brussels-sprouts-salad/

    • September 1, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

      Yum, I never would have put almonds, parmesan, and sprouts together. Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

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