Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts Salad

Our first Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad took time (I mean, we blanched the Brussels sprouts, after all) but this simpler approach is almost like the winterized ying to the first salad’s bright, summery yang. WHY? Chunks of blue cheese. Toasted Macadamia Nuts. This is the Brussels sprouts salad for when it’s cold out and your body is just CRAVING some greens amidst the cookies and carbonara.

SHOPPING LIST: 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, 1 cup blue cheese chunks, 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 lemon, dijon mustard, stone ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper

There’s two real steps here: 1. the dressing and 2. shredding the Brussels sprouts. Apparently for the latter you can actually use a food processor so feel free to give that a whirl – I’m old school so I like to spend the time slicing – it’s oddly cathartic. Trim the ends and dirty leaves off of your Brussels sprouts and then begin slicing very THINLY. When you get 1/2 way through, turn the Brussels sprout onto its newly created flat edge and continue slicing thinly through the remainder. Pile all your shredded veg into your serving bowl and the hard work is behind you!

Next, let’s get our simple dressing out of the way. In a small bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon. Add 3 tB. of stone ground mustard, 3 tB. if apple cider vinegar, 3 tB. of olive oil and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper. Because the Brussels sprouts are dense and cruciferous, a salad like this can hold up to an ample amount of dressing. Give the dressing a quick mix and set aside.

Heat a small saucepan and give your 1/2 cup of hazelnuts a quick toasting. Once the perimeter of the nuts starts to brown, spread them out on a cutting board and give them a quick, rough chop. Top your shaved Brussels sprouts with 1 cup of crumbled blue cheese, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or cherries) and then the 1/2 cup of chopped hazelnuts (toasted or otherwise). Give your dressing another good mixing to make sure it emulsifies and then drizzle the dressing over your entire salad and give it a liberal toss so that all of the ingredients are evenly coated.

While this recipe is vegetarian – if you are looking to make this side dish more of a main event – my FAVORITE thing to do is to add crispy bacon. IF you decide to go that route, make sure to retains some of that bacon grease and replace 1 tB. of olive oil with 1 tB. of bacon grease for incredible bacon dressing!

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