Looking for a fresh and exciting side dish for a festive dinner? Or maybe just an easy and delicious winter salad? This Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Apple Slaw checks all those boxes. Best of all...it can be made ahead! Serve it for Thanksgiving with this Stuffed Turkey Breast.
Did you know that raw Brussels sprouts are delicious? Their taste is much milder than the cooked version and pairs perfectly with salty bacon, sweet apple pieces and toasty pecans. Top it off with a simple vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese and this recipe will soon become a regular, fresh addition to any meal.
Why are they called Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are part of the cabbage family. They were grown, as early as the 13th century, in what is now Belgium and have always been a popular vegetable in Brussels. Hence the name. Now you know that they are called Brussels, with an "s" even when referring to only one Brussels sprout. Aren't you glad you know that now?
There are very few ingredients in this delicious slaw. Make the vinaigrette first and mix in thinly sliced shallots so they "marinate" while you prepare the other ingredients. This helps take the bite out of them and also infuses some more flavour into the vinaigrette. Chop the apples last so they don't sit for too long before starting to brown...like mine in the photo did after only a couple of minutes!
Can I make this vegan?
Easily make this salad vegan by omitting the bacon.
How do I shred the Brussels sprouts?
The best way to get the thinnest slices is to use a mandolin. This is the one I use - Benriner Japanese Mandoline. It's an inexpensive and very useful tool. Be forewarned...it is VERY sharp so make sure to use the guard or purchase these Cut Resistant Gloves. Truth be told, while prepping the sprouts for this post, I cut my thumb. It's the first time I have ever cut myself on a mandolin! Not bad considering how many times I've used one over the years but I can tell you it is a cut I never want to have again so I went and ordered those gloves right away.
If you don't have a mandolin you can use a knife. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and slice thinly across.
Trim and rinse
Trim the stems as short as you can, remove any of the outer leaves that are brown, and slice. If nice leaves fall off whole just add them in as is. They look nice strewn about. I like to rinse them after slicing to make sure all the dirt is out. Put them in a large bowl and fill up with water. Slosh them around with your hand to move away any dirt and let sit for a couple of minutes. Pick them up by the handful and put into a colander to drain. This way and dirt sinks to the bottom of the bowl and doesn't end up in your salad. I wash salad leaves the same way.
Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. This allows the Brussels sprouts to marinate in the vinaigrette creating a softer texture. When making a day in advance, mix in the nuts before serving.
Let me know what you think in the comment section below and if you make it I'd love to hear how it turns out!
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Brussels Sprouts Slaw With Bacon And Apple
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 tsp honey
- 1 tsp salt, Kosher
- freshly ground black pepper
- 24-26 medium Brussels sprouts, outer leaves and stems trimmed
- 1 small-medium shallot
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1 small apple
- 2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for shavings
to make the vinaigrette
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, honey, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add the shallots and stir. Let stand while you prepare the rest of the salad.
For the salad
- Cook the bacon and let cool. Break into small pieces.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pecans on a tray and bake for 6 minutes. Let cool and chop.
- Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts with a mandolin or knife, leaving out any hard stem ends. If any whole leaves fall off add them to the salad without slicing. Rinse well and drain. Place in a large bowl. Chop the apple into small pieces.
- Add the bacon, pecans, apple, grated Parmesan and all the vinaigrette to the Brussles sprouts. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let stand for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before serving. Pour into a serving dish and top with shavings of Parmesan cheese.
- Salad can be made up to 24 hours in advanced with the vinaigrette mixed in. If making ahead leave pecans to add before serving.
- All salad components can be made 3 days in advance excluding the apple which should be cut just before final mixing.