A ton of people have used the recent snowfall as an excuse to decorate for Christmas early, but I’m holding out as long as possible because:
- I don’t want to admit the season that shall not be named is most likely here to stay [sob]
- Thanksgiving should get the attention it deserves!
Ok, I can’t promise a Costco holiday planter won’t somehow find it’s way onto my front porch before Thursday, but that’s it! Besides, we should be focusing our attention and efforts on what will undoubtedly become your new favorite holiday side dish ever: Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad.
Make once and I promise it’ll become an annual tradition!
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with ALL the Fixins’
File this fall-themed Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad under “better than you can possibly imagine“. It’s like taking a Peloton class from Jess King. Oh wait no, that’s harder than you can possibly imagine. Hurts so (mostly) good.
Anyway, you can pick out and taste every single ingredient in this flavor and texture-packed Thanksgiving-friendly side dish, and the combination of fresh, savory, sweet, creamy, and crunchy is simply divine.
You will remember this salad LONG after taking your last bite!
Shredded brussels sprouts, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, fresh pear, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, and crispy shallots (the STAR of the salad!) are drizzled with the easiest Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette to create a flavorful and healthy fall salad that you’ll go back for more and more and more of. It is beyond delicious.
Can You Eat Raw Brussels Sprouts?
Yes, you can eat raw brussels sprouts! Brussels sprouts are in the cruciferous vegetable family with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, and are completely fine to eat raw. I prefer to thinly slice each sprout with a sharp chef’s knife, vs purchasing a bag of pre-shredded sprouts because the bagged slices are a little too thick to eat raw (they’re great for pan-seared brussels sprouts recipes or roasted brussels sprouts recipes). You can basically shave the brussels sprouts using a knife rendering them super easy to eat raw in this salad.
The recipe for this shredded brussels sprouts salad is sponsored by my very good friends at Fisher Nuts, and highlights their buttery Fisher Naturals Pecan Halves which give each forkful a satisfying crunch and boost of holiday flavor.
I’ve been using Fisher Naturals nuts in my recipes for years and years (and years!) now. Not only are they of the highest quality, but they’re preservative free and naturally gluten free, too.
My Mom has a metal nut cracker and bowl that she sets out around the holidays every year then buys whole nuts to crack open and snack on. This is a holiday tradition she grew up with that she’s passionate about carrying on. Fisher Naturals nuts taste just like the ones we crack and eat straight out of the shells. Pure and fresh!
How to Prepare Ahead of Time
This shredded brussels sprouts salad is great to make for Thanksgiving on account of its warming fall flavors, and it also can be partially made ahead of time which is nice when you’ve got a bunch of different dishes cooking on the stove or baking in the oven on the actual holiday.
Here’s a a breakdown of what you can prepare or make ahead of time, vs what’s best to prepare just before serving:
Make/prepare ahead of time:
- Shred the brussels sprouts up to two days ahead of time then store in a gallon Ziplock bag with all the air pressed out.
- Chop the pecans up to two days ahead of time then store in an airtight container.
- Prepare then refrigerate the vinaigrette 1-3 days ahead of time.
Prepare just before serving:
- Chop the pears.
- Pan fry the shallots.
- Add all ingredients into a serving bowl then dress and toss to combine.
How to Make Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Start by shredding raw brussels sprouts. Peel back the outer leaves of each sprout then hold onto the stem and use a sharp knife to shave them as thinly as possible.
Again, it’s tempting to use a bag of pre-shredded brussels sprouts for this dish, but they’re a touch too thick for a raw salad in my opinion. Hand shredding gets them much thinner!
Add the shredded sprouts to a large bowl with dried cranberries, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, chopped ripe pear, and Fisher Naturals Pecan Halves that have been roughly chopped.
Next, pan fry jumbo shallots sliced into rings – no breading required! Once fried, shallot rings are a FANTASTIC replacement for french fried onions on top of casseroles and in salads. You really can pick out the caramelized onion flavor amongst all the other ingredients in this dish. So, so delicious.
After slicing and separating the rings of the shallots, heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I always test a slice of shallot first to see if the oil is hot enough. If the slice starts sizzling right away, the oil is ready.
Add half the shallots to the hot oil then saute and stir occasionally until light golden brown, NOT dark brown which tastes bitter. Each batch should take 2-3 minutes.
Scoop the fried shallots onto a paper towel lined plate to drain then sprinkle with salt. Repeat the fry >> salt process with the remaining shallots.
Last step is to mix up the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette that ties the whole salad together. It is incredible! To a jar with a tight fitting lid add the following ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
Shake to combine then pour over the salad, toss to combine, add the fried shallots, and then toss again.
Fresh, decadent, crunchy, creamy — ALL. THE. THINGS! I know you are going to adore this texture and flavor packed Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad! Enjoy, enjoy!
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Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad
Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad is a crispy, crunchy, healthy, gluten free salad recipe that's full of fresh fall flavors!
- 12oz brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves pulled away
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup Fisher Naturals Pecan Halves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese crumbles
- 1 pear, chopped
- 2 jumbo shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- For the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Using a very sharp knife, thinly shred brussels sprouts while holding onto the core end then discard cores and add shredded sprouts to a large bowl with dried cranberries, chopped pecans, gorgonzola cheese, and chopped pears. Set aside.
- Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the shallots then fry until light golden brown (NOT dark brown) 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop onto a paper towel-lined plate to drain then repeat with remaining shallots. Sprinkle with salt then let cool slightly.
- Add ingredients for Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette together in a jar then shake to combine. Pour over salad then toss to coat. Add fried shallots then toss to combine, and then serve.
- I recommend shredding your own brussels sprouts vs buying pre-shredded to make sure you can shave them very, very thin!
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.