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