You'll have to excuse any typos in this post. I'm currently trying to write this with a 12-week- old ball of fur sleeping on my chest while balancing a laptop on my outstretched knees. This week has been crazy between hubby working nights, getting ready for our trip to Florida, and introducing this sweet new puppy into our pack. So, I'll just make this a quick hello amidst the chaos and share with you a recipe that is one of my favorites to make for Thanksgiving (or any of the holidays coming up).
First, let me clarify that yes, this is made with raw Brussels sprouts. Second, let me assure you that I am not off my rocker. If you're not a Brussels sprout fan, you wouldn't necessarily be in the minority, but maybe that's because you've never tried them this way. This side dish only has three main ingredients, and trust me when I say not to let the simplicity fool you...it is packed with flavor. Thinly slicing the raw Brussels sprouts keeps their flavor fresh but not too bitter, and the sweetness of the dressing and cranberries evens out the whole dish. It's refreshing, healthy(ish), and super easy...three descriptors that aren't usually associated with Thanksgiving dishes.
I'm giving you the recipe in it's easiest form, but don't let that discourage you from playing with it and adding bacon, toasting the almonds, adding carrots, changing up the dressing, etc. You should also know that this is usually better the second day, after the dressing has had time to soften up the sprouts just a little.
If there's one thing I've learned from party planning, cooking for a crowd, and hosting dinner parties, it's that you MUST have a few time-saving dishes that don't make you crazy while doing all that cooking. People love good food, but they love a relaxed host who is enjoying their time with the guests even more. This Thanksgiving is definitely going to be a little more hectic around here this year which is why I'm thankful for time-saving side dishes like this one. Do you have a family favorite holiday side dish that you can always count on to save time? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. :)
Shaved Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Salad
Yield: about 10 side portions
1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, rinsed and brown ends trimmed
1/2 cup dried cranberries, plus a few more for garnish
1/2 cup sliced almonds, plus a few more for garnish
1/2 cup mayo
2 Tbsp. good quality apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
- Use a mandolin or food processor fitted with the slicing attachment to thinly slice or "shave" the Brussels sprouts.
- Optional step: toast the almonds on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven for a few minutes or just until golden brown to bring out the flavor.
- In a large bowl, toss together the shaved Brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds.
- In a small bowl or mixing glass, whisk together the mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until all the ingredients are coated.
- Cover and store in fridge at least one hour prior to serving and ideally overnight.
- Garnish with more cranberries and almonds prior to serving.
- You can also add chopped bacon to make this a little more savory and indulgent. Just lay out about 7-8 strips of bacon on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for about 15 minutes or until cooked through but not quite crispy. Immediately remove from oven and transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Let cool, then give them a rough chop.
- This is usually better the second day, after the dressing has had time to soften up the Brussels sprouts even more.
- I used a food processor with the slicing attachment to slice the sprouts, which worked great, but a mandolin set super thin would be even better. Note to self: put mandolin on Christmas list.