Last week my husband and I had dinner with some friends at a local pub. Though most of the menu was your typical pub fare (or at least an American concept of it), it did contain a few vegan or easily veganized dishes. One of them was a shaved Brussels sprouts salad that turned out to be delicious. I’d never had raw Brussels sprouts before and was a little wary, but shredding makes them tender and mellows their flavor. Of course, I had to try making it at home, with a few healthier substitutions.
Before I get to the recipe, there are a couple of things I’ve been meaning to tell you. First of all, many of you use the Recipe Box function to keep track of recipes you like or want to try, but unfortunately it hasn’t been working right for a while. The piece of free software (“plugin”) that runs it hasn’t been updated in a long time, and being free, it probably won’t be. I’ve looked for other on-site solutions and haven’t found one yet. I’ll keep looking, but in the meantime, you might want to start saving your recipes at Yummly. It’s free to use, and once you sign up, you can easily save recipes by clicking on this button at the top or bottom of a post:
Second, once or twice a year, Vitamix puts its reconditioned blenders on sale at such a reduced price that I just have to tell you about it. Since I bought a reconditioned variable speed standard Vitamix in January of 2009, I’ve become a big proponent and cheerleader for the reconditioned blenders because I think they’re such a good value. Mine is still going strong, so I might never get the red or brushed stainless one I really want. But you can! Red, white, and black models are $249 through December 3, 2016. If you use my affiliate link, you’ll receive free shipping. Back to the recipe: It was actually easy to make a version much lower in fat and sugar than the one I enjoyed at the pub. I just used a basic fat-free balsamic vinaigrette, reduced the amount of cashews (the pub’s salad was about 1/4 cashews, I kid you not), and used unsweetened, un-oiled dried cranberries instead of the type usually found in stores. Because they were a little tart, I used more maple syrup in the recipe than I normally would have, so if you make this and use sweetened cranberries, you can reduce the maple syrup in the dressing by about half. If you’re looking for a salad or light side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner, I think this shredded Brussels sprouts salad would be perfect. You can make the separate parts of it ahead of time and throw it all together at the last minute. I also found that it tastes good (but doesn’t look as pretty) the next day, but keep the spicy cashews separate until right before serving or they will soften and lose their spice. Note: The Quick Pickled Red Onions are based on this recipe. You will probably have some leftover–which is great! They make a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches and will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. Store them in glass.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dried Cranberries and Cashews
Dried cranberries, spiced cashews, pickled red onion, and a tangy maple-mustard vinaigrette make this shredded Brussels sprouts salad sparkle with flavor.
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 quart boiling water
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 clove garlic sliced
Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mustard (dijon or spicy brown mustard preferred)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- black pepper generous grating
- 16 ounces brussels sprouts
- 5 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves lightly torn
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries see note below
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Make the pickled onions at least a half hour before putting the salad together. Slice 1/2 of a large red onion. Place it in a strainer, hold the strainer over the sink, and pour a quart of boiling water over it. Set aside to drain. While it is draining, pour the vinegar into a glass storage jar or bowl, add the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and garlic to the vinegar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the drained onions to the jar, stir gently, and set aside to cool. Pickled Red Onions will keep for several weeks.
- Place the cashews on a baking sheet and toast in a toaster oven or in a pan over medium heat until the just begin to brown (2-3 minutes, normally, but watch carefully to make sure they don't burn.) Pour into a bowl and drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup. Stir in the spicy seasoning of your choice and set aside to cool.
Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
- Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Making the Salad
- Trim the hard ends from the Brussels sprouts. Attach the thinnest slicing blade you have to your food processor, position the sprouts cut end down in the feed tube, and shred in batches. (You can also do this with a mandoline, but it's time consuming and dangerous without a cut-resistant glove.)
- Put the shredded Brussels sprouts into a large salad bowl. Use your fingers to separate any large slices into shreds. Add the torn baby spinach leaves and dried cranberries. Measure out 1 cup of the pickled onions--drained well-- and add them to the salad along with the dressing. Toss well. Sprinkle with the spicy cashews just before serving.
The dried cranberries I used contained no sugar or oil and are of a lighter texture (and nutritional value) than the cranberries that are like raisins. I used their nutritional analysis when figuring out the Nutritional Info for this recipe, so if you use regular dried cranberries, the recipe will contain more sugar and, perhaps, fat.
Please pin and share: I hope you enjoy it. Remember to check my Thanksgiving Recipes for more holiday ideas!
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