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

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A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party



Three Holiday Crostini Served with Bubbly:

Italian Truffle Cheese, Truffled Shiitake, Truffled Frisee
Cambozola, Cranberry Orange Relish, Walnut
Foie Gras Paté


Lori Lynn’s

Spicy Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche
Garnished with Toasted Coconut, Chopped Cashews, Dried Pomegranate Arils


Bejeweled Endive Christmas Salad
Radish, Shallot, Basil, Fresh Pomegranate Seed
Creamy Champagne Thyme Vinaigrette

Lori Lynn’s

Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Olive, Garlic
Meyer Lemon Cream Fraiche “Gravy”


Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Brussels Sprouts with Hollandaise


Warm Chocolate Lava Cake
Peppermint Chip Ice Cream

A few days before Christmas I hosted A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party for my friends. Everyone was to bring a dish and wine. I had said that I would be making Cornish game hen and the rest of the menu was open. Without any formal planning, the menu evolved and the dinner turned out fabulous! My only direction was to let the cooks know what menu category was available. Since we are foodie friends that have been cooking together for years, it shouldn’t have surprised me that the random menu items complemented each other perfectly.

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