This Nordic Brussel Sprout Salad is very healthy and delicious. It is packed with Brussels sprouts, apples,chickpeas, lettuce & capers.The first step in the process is, of course, to prepare the Brussels sprouts. Because they have such a strong flavour, they taste great without much preparation. Steam them, roast them in the oven, sauté them in butter or boil them over the stove. While sautéing Brussels sprouts in butter is probably the most delicious option, a low fat diet calls for steaming instead, which is fortunately a really tasty option too. Most salads require that you remove the leaves of the sprouts and use them as a base for the salad, but you can also toss them into the Brussels Sprouts Salad whole, or slice them in half, lengthways to make for easier eating.
INGREDIENTS FOR BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD
When it comes to selecting ingredients to accompany the sprouts, you can get quite creative. Chickpeas add in a delicious contrasting texture. Deep fry them if you aren’t counting calories – they make a really tasty vegetable crouton. Roast them in the oven if you are. They crisp up beautifully with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of rough sea salt. You can slice them if you choose too, but they are at their best when they are whole. If you are using canned chickpeas, be sure to drain all of the liquid from them before adding them to the salad so that they remain firm and the salad does not become soggy.
Sweet slivers of fruit are a wonderful addition to a Brussel Sprout Salad too. This recipe suggests apples, and it’s important to make sure you use a crisp, crunchy variety. Granny Smith is a great choice. Leave the skin on as it adds color and texture. For a slightly different flavor experience, slice a handful of green grapes in half and remove their seeds. This creates a beautiful visual treat alongside the green Brussels sprouts in the salad.
Walnuts are often chosen to accompany Brussels sprouts and this is not surprising. They are popular nuts to use in salads because of their distinct, woody taste and delicately crunchy texture. Almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and even diced peanuts are great alternatives. Roast them in the oven for a few minutes to get them to optimal crunchiness – be careful to watch them as they burn easily. Raisins also go hand in hand with Brussels sprouts due to their sweet taste and interesting consistency. Sultanas, dried cranberries and dried blueberries add sweet pockets of flavor to the salad as well. You could even add a healthy grain to the Brussels Sprouts Salad, such as cous cous or quinoa, to add a delicious bulk to the mix. This also adds to the nutritional value of the salad and will leave you feeling full and healthy after eating.
If you would like to add cheese to the Brussels Sprouts Salad, I recommend grated Parmesan or Pecorino. Without it, this is a vegan-friendly salad with tons of flavor, so it’s definitely not essential. If you are looking to add meat to the salad, fried bacon bits are a delicious addition to the Brussels sprouts and vegetable mix. Chunks of lamb or ostrich are also great in the salad and you may want to consider adding in one of these if you are serving the salad as a main course. Otherwise, serve the salad with a plate of oven fresh bruschetta toasted with olive oil and pesto or sea salt and black pepper.
BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD DRESSING
A tangy dressing does very well on a Brussels sprouts salad. I prefer vinaigrette, and there are quite a few great tasting variations of the traditional recipe.
All you have to do is mix the ingredients together to make this delicious, traditional vinaigrette. You can use the leftovers for almost any salad, and it will taste great!
- Two tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar
- 125 ml or half a cup of Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of crushed, prepared garlic
- 1 or 2 teaspoons of grainy Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
Exchange the red or white wine venue in the recipe above for Balsamic.
- Lemon Vinaigrette
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the recipe for traditional vinaigrette to add in a fresh tasting zing. You could even add in finely grated rind to create an interesting texture.
- Avocado Vinaigrette
Mix in half of a mashed Hass or butter avocado to create a dairy-free, creamy dressing that is vegan friendly and delicious on a Brussels Sprouts Salad, or any number of others!
Once you’ve made the dressing, you can either drizzle it over the salad yourself, or serve it in a glass bottle for each guest to help themselves to. Because this tends to be such a visually appealing, colourful salad, you can serve it spread over a large platter as part of a dinnertime feast. Brussel Sprout Salad is a lovely side dish for roast lamb or chicken and it adds a wonderful element to a special occasion table. Be sure to add in the cranberries if you are serving it as part of a Christmas lunch or dinner. Brussels sprouts have firm leaves which enable the salad to keep for longer than most. So if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, don’t be afraid to pop them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to a day
- Canned chickpeas or dried chickpeas( soaked in cold water overnight)
- Brussels sprouts- 5-6
- Apples -2
- Capers- 2 tbsp
- Garlic cloves-2
- Lemon juice- 1 tsp
- Frisee Lettuce - ½ cup( optional)
- Fresh Parsley leaves( finely chopped)- 2 tbsp
- Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tbsp
- Olive oil- 3tbsp
- Ground Black Pepper- ¼ tsp
- Salt- To Taste
- Drain the soaked chickpeas & rinse them thoroughly in clean water.
- Put the chickpeas in a pan, cover with water and add the whole garlic cloves.
- Bring to boil and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes until cooked & tender.
- In a small bowl combine olive oil with lemon juice, ground black pepper and balsamic vinegar.
- Again drain the cooked chickpeas. Transfer them into a salad bowl.
- While they are still hot, season with olive oil mixture & add salt to taste.
- Wash the Brussels sprouts and shred them( if you like).
- Cut the apples into quarters, remove the seeds & slice them into thin wedges.
- Wash & chop fresh parsley leaves.
- Add sprouts, apples, parsley and capers to the bowl of cooked chickpeas and toss well.
- If necessary, season with more pepper, salt or lemon juice to taste.
- Serve immediately.
This Brussel Sprout Salad will become a new family favorite.