Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RAW Brussel Sprout Salad

Due to tremendous demand, I have pushed aside the PILE of other posts I had lined up and now bring you my now famous and widely coveted Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranates and Candied Pecans. I really don't see what's not to like in this salad. Brussel Sprout haters? Bet you've never tried it raw- am I right? And you know what- raw brussel sprouts aren't like raw kale where your jaw gets a workout and your innards get a good scrubbing. This salad reminds me of a coleslaw- rough greens with a tangy dressing and lots of delicious little goodies. And if you insist, go ahead and add some bacon- it wouldn't be amiss.

Brussel Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Candied Pecans
Inspired by a salad from Radish in Williamsburg, NY
I dressed this salad up for Thanksgiving with candied pecans, but for an everyday salad just throw in some toasted walnuts. It's all good. And the dressing asks for white balsamic vinegar but this is to avoid muddying up the salad. I've made this a couple times and still haven't procured any white balsamic vinegar... do as I say not as I do- am I right?!

For the Salad
  • 1 overflowing pint of Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 Pomegranate

For the Shallot Dressing
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or regular)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black)

For the Candied Pecans
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
These nuts are very easy to make and make a great gift. Just add mason jar + ribbon!
  • 1/3 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Generous pinch of cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound pecan halves
  • 1 egg white, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water
Start off by making the candied pecans. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees

Combine the sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and cinnamon making sure there are no lumps. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg white and water until frothy. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and mix until coated. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top and keep adding it everything is nicely coated. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure the nuts are in one layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid clumps of sugar nuts. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously until emulsified. Set aside

To remove the seeds from the pomegranate, fill a large bowl with water. Carefully cut the pomegranate in quarters. Working underwater, tear the quarters apart, releasing the seeds. The white pith will float to the top and the seeds will sink. Once you've freed all the seeds use a fine mesh strainer to strain out the pith floating at the top, then poor the water out through the strainer to catch the seeds. Rest the strainer over the bowl to dry the seeds while you finish the salad. 

The easiest way to cut the brussel sprouts is to use a food processor. Wash and trim the brussel sprouts and feed them through the food processor tube fitted with the slicing attachment. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a mandolin or a knife! Just slice as thin as you can manage. 

Toss the shredded brussel sprouts about 3/4 of the pomegranate seeds and 1/2 the dressing to start. Once you are happy with the ratios, top with a good handful of the candied pecans. 

This salad keeps pretty well in the fridge for a few days. 

No, not the slider- the salad beside it!

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