Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

I promised you four salad recipes, and I am delivering! This winter salad is from the lovely cookbook, "Love Welcome Serve", by Amy Hannon. You'll be seeing some of her other recipes this month as I've chosen to #cookthebook from "Love Welcome Serve". This salad is a good place to begin.

Brussels sprouts, spinach, arugula, beets, and oranges, make this an exemplary winter salad, with all these ingredients readily available where I live. Eating raw brussels sprouts might be new to you, but when shaved thinly, they add nice crunch and flavor without the bitterness often associated with this vegetable.

This salad is adorned with lots of crunchy bacon. Now I've got your attention! Bacon and brussels sprouts are the best of friends. Take your bacon and dice it into bite sized pieces. I like to use a thick sliced bacon, always. Let this saute in a skillet while you prep the rest of the salad components. Just don't forget to give it a little stir on occasion. Once the bacon is browned and crisp, remove to a paper towel lined bowl to drain.

In the meantime - wash and trim your brussels sprouts. To shave the sprouts, I used my food processor, but if you have good knife skills, or want to work on them, you could do this by hand. You want to slice these as thinly as possible.

Pour the brussels sprouts into a large bowl. See how pretty these turn out. Go ahead and play with your food a little. I give you permission.

Toast some pine nuts on low heat on your stove top. These toast quickly, so stay close and stir often. It's a sad moment when you burn your pine nuts, and I would know. You could easily substitute a different kind of nut if you'd like.

Add spinach and baby arugula to your shaved brussels sprouts. You can usually find this blend in the produce section of your market. Now I have everything else ready to go - drained mandarin oranges, toasted pine nuts, bacon, drained baby pickled beets, and crumbled goat cheese. I snuck those beets in on you, didn't I? If you really don't like them, of course you would omit the beets. But if you do, well, the flavors are just perfect with the bacon, oranges and goat cheese!

Let's mix up a simple vinaigrette to pour over the salad. You will need apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper. The recipe calls for chopped chives, which I'm sure would be a nice addition, but I didn't have any.

Blend all ingredients in a bowl or jar and then add oil. Whisk together or shake until mixed.

Pour the dressing over the salad and gently mix. This makes a large salad, so if you are going to be eating it over a few days, just dress the portion you plan to eat. Thanks to Amy, I think you will enjoy this lovely creation.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

20 Brussels sprouts

2 cups fresh baby arugula

2 cups fresh baby spinach

8 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup pine nuts

1 (16oz.) jar whole baby pickled beets

1 (14oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained

2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 T. honey

1 T. Dijon mustard

2 T. chopped fresh chives

3/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

Trim the Brussels sprouts and use a sharp knife or a food processor to shave them into thin slices. In a large salad bowl, toss together the shaved Brussels sprouts, arugula and spinach. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute the chopped bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Toast the pine nuts over low heat.

Drain the pickled beets, lay them out on a paper towel-lined plate and carefully pat the excess liquid off with another paper towel. Add the beets to the shaved Brussels and greens, along with the mandarins, crisped bacon, toasted pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and chives. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously to combine. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

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