Monday, October 13, 2014

Brussels sprout and blue cheese salad with maple candied pecans

Brussels sprout and blue cheese salad is deliciously crisp and simple to prepare -- and even better when topped with 5-minute maple-candied pecans.

Crisp Brussels sprout salad with tangy blue cheese and maple candied pecans

Remember last week's maple-candied pecans? Remember that I mentioned I made them to garnish a Brussels sprout salad?

Well, this is the salad. But I bet you could tell that by the awesome candied pecans in it. Because you are wicked clever, yes, you are.

I love Brussels sprouts. And not just because they are the cutest food, like little tiny wannabe cabbages. Totes adorbs. I love their earthy flavor and crunchiness, when they're raw anyway. In fact, I may almost love them more raw in salads and slaws than I do cooked. (Well, at least I thought I did until I had these crispy Brussels sprouts with lemon, pistachios and pecorino at a restaurant called Lumber Yard in Amherst, MA a few weeks ago -- ERMERGAHD, they were seriously delish!)

You're going to dig this salad for its simplicity: a tangy shallot dressing, sprouts, rich blue cheese and those candied nuts. It comes together quickly as a side for roast chicken or fish, but I like to eat it as the meal itself -- because I freakin' love Brussels sprouts! The only thing that's slightly a pain is slicing the little suckers. But you can also shred them quickly using a food processor, if you're so inclined to want to wash more dishes (I'm usually not).

One little tip to make the sprouts a bit more salad-y: massage the shredded sprouts a bit before combining them with the dressing, just as you often do with kale salads. The massaging tenderizes the shredded sprouts a little but without completing removing the yummy crunchiness.

And DO NOT SKIP THE PECANS. Seriously: I noted in the pecan post that I sometimes skip steps or leave out seemingly minor ingredients (like nut toppings) in recipes when I'm in a rush but I am urging you, nay WARNING you that you will be doing this salad and yourself a huge disservice if you forgo the candying of the nuts.

Remember how awesome they are? Remember that they only take 5 minutes to make? Remember that the recipe makes a lot of extra nuts that you can snack on while you make dinner? Exactly.

So, what's your deal with Brussels sprouts -- yay or nay? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

Simple Brussels sprout salad with blue cheese and maple candied pecans

Brussels Sprout and Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Candied Pecans

(adapted from Cooking Light)

1 large shallot, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced or shredded then gently massaged
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup maple-candied pecans

Whisk together the first 7 ingredients (shallots through salt) in a large bowl to make a vinaigrette. Add the shredded sprouts and cheese, and toss to coat. Top with pecans.
-- print recipe --


  1. I would never skip candied nuts. Ever.

  2. Thanks for introducing me to tomorrows lunch ;)

    1. Lunch and afternoon snack, if you make the full cup of nuts. Yeah, you're welcome.

  3. I was loving those pecans last week. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite, what a great salad!

  4. This is one fabulous salad. I hope there's an endless supply of candied pecans, otherwise I'll be stealing them off everyone else's plates.

    1. Go ahead and double the pecan recipe then, Kim. :-)

  5. Holy cow that sounds really good. But why do I have to gently massage my shredded brussel sprouts?!

    1. Ah, Achmed, you just proved to me that you didn't actually read the post. :-) Massaging it tenderizes the sprouts a little bit.

  6. I'm with you on Brussels sprouts, Julianne. A friend of mine calls them Barbie cabbages! I love them in any form, sauteed, roasted, or raw. This salad is right up my alley and you know this southern boy likes some pecans! Awesome salad and post, J!

    1. OMG, I think I need to start calling them "Barbie cabbages", too!!