This might be my favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts. I just love the crunch of shaved, raw Brussels Sprouts. And don’t be scared, they are not bitter at all. I am of the opinion that if you think you don’t like cooked Brussels Sprouts you very well might like them raw. They are sweet and crunchy… not that much different than a cabbage. In fact I’ve always considered them just little baby cabbages.
This Shaved Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Salad has a decidedly holiday twist with the dried cranberries and walnuts. I’ve used a very basic lemon dressing with a little honey to sweeten things up. Nothing crazy. This is easy stuff to throw together… which is ideal when you have dinner to get on the table for a special guests or a special occasion or what-have you….It’s that time of year! Full of friends and visiting and all those things, it can be hectic. So making things easy is the name of the game.
So ahead of time, make the dressing and prep all the parts of the salad. Clean and slice the sprouts and toast the walnuts. Pack everything up (keep the toasted walnuts separate for maximum crunch and toasty-ness) and just toss together in a pretty bowl before serving.
How to prep Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad ahead of time:
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions and let cool in the refrigerator. It should be completely cooled before tossing the salad. I usually make it the day before. I cup raw quinoa will yield about 3 cups cooked.
- Clean the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Thinly slice the sprouts. You can use a food processor for this, or do as i do and just us a very sharp knife. The sprouts will keep sliced in a container in the fridge for a day or two.
- The day before, in a large bowl with a tight fitting lid, add the shaved sprouts, cooked and cooled quinoa and cranberries. Stash in the refrigerator until just before serving. Have the walnuts and the dressing ready as well, stored separately. Just before serving toss it all together and transfer to a pretty bowl. It will keep, tossed, for a good hour or two without losing much crunch. While it is best served just freshly tossed, it doesn’t suffer too much after an hour or two. (I’ve been known to eat this salad the next day. Not quite as crunchy, but like any good slaw, it’s still fairly sturdy.)
- Toast the walnuts in a hot, dry skillet until just fragrant. I like to chop them very roughly after I’ve toasted them. If doing this step ahead of time I find they stay the crunchiest if you pack them separately in an airtight container after they cool and keep at room temperature. Or you can leave the toasting step to just before serving.
- The dressing will keep for several days refrigerated in an airtight container. I love this salad with a weeknight meal — but the recipe as written makes far too much. Make the dressing and keep it on hand for quick side-salads during the week. Just use the amount you need for smaller family sized meals.
Yields 6 servings
A bright and colourful holiday salad that can be mostly prepared ahead of time. Just toss with the dressing before serving.
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 orange, juiced
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot (or red onion)
- 1/2 cup oil (olive, avocado or walnut, or some combination)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt
- freshly grated black pepper to taste
- 16 oz of finely shredded Brussels Sprouts
- 2 cup cooked quinoa (I used black quinoa, red would be nice too, but white is fine)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup toasted walnuts (pecans or almonds work nicely too)
- In a 500ml mason jar or small bowl add all dressing ingredients and whisk to combine. Or place lid on mason jar and shake well.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all salad ingredients and toss well. Pour dressing over salad greens and toss until well combined and evenly coated. Serve.
This recipe makes enough for a small serving for a crowd. Recipe can easily be scaled for smaller dinner parties. Although, I'd make the full dressing recipe, use what you need for the amount of salad on hand and then store the rest. The dressing with keep refrigerated for about 5 days.