What's On the Side: Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad

Our friends invited us over for a little get-together yesterday to celebrate St. Patrick's Day/the End of Winter. (Albeit, with all the snow still on the ground, and temperatures forecasted to be in the 20s this week, I'm not quite convinced much will change when the season turns to Spring on Wednesday.) Our friends supplied the corned beef and guests were tasked with bringing along a dish to share. (Which of course is right up my alley, since that means I can make a huge batch of ("blog-worthy") food and D won't complain about an endless amount of leftovers in the fridge.) In addition to baking up a batch of Guinness chocolate cupcakes (I couldn't help myself), I also put together a Brussels sprouts salad -- the perfect way to use up a 2-pound bag of Brussels sprouts in our fridge and, hey, it's green to boot, making it just right for a St. Patrick's Day celebration.

This salad comes together quite quickly, particularly if you use a food processor to shred the sprouts. You can easily customize this salad by using whatever hard cheese or nuts you have on hand. I jazzed up my version with dried cranberries and the addition of fresh herbs to the dressing. The salad is best served the day that you make it, but it is also good as leftovers when eaten within one or two days.

Brussels Sprouts Salad (printer-friendly version)
makes 10-12 servings

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cinder vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1. Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts. Tear off any wonky leaves and chop off the woody stems.
2. Use a food processor (I used a 2 mm slicing blade) to shred the Brussels sprouts. Alternately, you could use a mandoline or slice them (carefully!) with a sharp knife.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and toast until fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Shake the skillet or stir the walnuts occasionally to prevent burning. Turn the walnuts out onto a cutting board. Let cool slightly and then roughly chop. Set aside.
4. In a jar, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Screw on the lid and shake until the ingredients are well-combined.
5. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl. Add in the grated Parm, toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
6. Serve immediately.

(adapted from this Gluten-Free Girl recipe via Shutterbean)