A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts

California Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Cal-Style Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad


Lentils, Cranberries, Walnuts, Chestnuts, and Orange Zest
Orange Tahini Dressing

Imagine serving a Brussels sprouts side dish for Thanksgiving that appeals to all your guests. Unfortunately, that’s probably not possible as these seasonal mini cabbages are one of America’s most-hated vegetables.

Brussels sprouts can have a slightly bitter quality, especially the large older ones, which can be off-putting to many. And then there is that childhood memory of mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts with their lingering cabbage-y smells. No wonder this little brassica has a bad reputation. But we’re putting an original California spin on that old cruciferous vegetable this holiday!

In recent years we’ve seen lots of fabulous recipes for roasted Brussels sprouts, which have changed some peoples minds about this vegetable. We’re refreshing our Thanksgiving menu with a California Style Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. It is bright and flavorful – the perfect foil to all the rich heavy dishes on the buffet. And it is naturally nutritious, gluten-free, and vegan too.

Most of the U.S. production of Brussels sprouts comes from California where plantings began in the 1920s along our Central Coast. The combination of coastal fog and cooler temperatures is ideal for cultivation. This Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad invokes the flavors of the holidays – cranberry, walnut, orange, chestnut. Shaved Brussels sprouts are blanched in boiling water for only two minutes, then shocked in an ice bath to retain their crispiness and color.

The flavor is fresh and bright. The texture is light and crunchy. I add earthy lentils for balance. The lively dressing is a blend of creamy tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, and orange juice. Pairing these little leafy cabbages with legumes, fruits, and nuts is the key. You might just convert some haters this holiday. And as a bonus – this salad frees up much-needed space in the oven…

Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipe

Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad with Fruit and Nuts

Orange Tahini Dressing

tahini orange dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Whisk tahini, orange juice, and olive oil together. Add a bit more orange juice if the dressing is too thick. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

cal-style brussels sprouts salad recipe Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad

serves 8

  • 4 cups shaved brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup cooked lentils, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, rough chopped
  • 1/3 cup peeled and cooked chestnuts, rough chopped
  • zest from one orange, sliced into slivers
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad with Fruit and Nuts

  1. Blanch shaved brussels sprouts in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain well (we use a salad spinner).
  2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts and lentils with orange tahini dressing.
  3. Fold in cranberries, walnuts, chestnuts, and orange zest – reserving a bit of each for garnish.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve on a platter. Garnish with reserved cranberry, walnut, chestnut, and orange zest.

All ingredients for this salad can be found at Trader Joe’s. The salad can be made several hours ahead. Dress just before serving.

Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad with Fruit and Nuts

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Fall Fest


Thanksgiving Sides

Fall Fest is a season long franchise where Food Network editors team up with bloggers to share recipes about everyone’s favorite Autumn fruits and vegetables. Be sure to check out the Pinterest Board with over 100,000 followers called Let’s Pull Up A Chair! And if this Cal-Style Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad got you in the mood for all things Thanksgiving, you might enjoy taking a peek at other holiday recipes from some fabulous bloggers below…

Feed Me Phoebe: Swiss Chard Gratin
The Lemon Bowl: Quinoa with Acorn Squash, Apples and Walnuts
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: 16 Clean Eating Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Nancy’s Vodka Cranberries
Weelicious: Maple Roast Vegetables
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Easy Mushroom-Chile Risotto
Red or Green: Schezwan Green Beans
Domesticate Me: Sweet Potato Gratin with Pancetta, Parmesan and Sage
Virtually Homemade: Sweet Potato Casserole with Walnuts
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Purple Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette
The Sensitive Epicure: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Thyme and Rosemary
The Heritage Cook: Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables
Food For My Family: Honey-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine
Dishin & Dishes: Twice baked Sweet Potatoes
Devour: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides
FN Dish: 10 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides

15 thoughts on “A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts”

  1. Oh Lori – Now you’re giving me a quandary. I just saw Marie’s brussels sprouts and kale salad and now I’ve come across your delicious looking salad too. What’s a gal to do when faced with two great options? Maybe one now, and one later.

  2. Oh, this sounds wonderful, brussels sprouts, lentils, walnuts, chestnuts and cranberries – what wonderful texture and flavor. I find things like this so satisfying – love that crunch, don’t you? And the dressing is divine. Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. This is a beautiful salad and I love all the ingredients you’ve added to it. I especially love the orange tahini dressing. That alone I could drink. I didn’t use one of my brussel sprout stalks for Thanksgiving and have a fresh jar of tahini I just purchased, so I think I will give this a try this weekend. Nice recipe!

  4. Hey Lori Lynn! Thank you for this wonderful salad! I am a recent convert to Brussels Spouts, particularly shaved Brussels sprouts. Because of that and all the wonderful goodies in this salad, I’m putting it on my MUST try list.

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