2tablespoonsmustard(dijon or spicy brown mustard preferred)
black peppergenerous grating
5ouncesbaby spinach or arugulaleaves lightly torn
1/4cupdried cranberriessee 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.