My maple and apple cider brussels sprouts are pretty kickass and they are pretty much the perfect side for any winter dish-chicken, pork, beef or a meaty fish. They are in a word-delicious. The other day I was thinking about them, salivating a little but kicking myself because I was fresh out of both maple syrup and apple cider. Tragic! So I thought about it a bit and decided to change that lovely little bacon and brussels sprouts combo in to a salad. I kept the brussels sprouts raw and sliced them very thin, this added a great little crunch to the salad. I also threw in a chiffonade of “dino” kale aka lacinato kale; the darkest green kale variety in the kale family. It was fresh and lovely especially with the warm garlicky bacon vinaigrette drizzling down through the salad. I topped it all off with a handful of toasted pistachios and it was amazing! On a side note, I adore pistachios and rarely keep them around, I can down a whole bag in under half an hour so this salad will definitely be a treat!
If you have time, let the dressing sit on the salad for about 30 minutes before serving this helps soften the sprouts a little bit. Remember to do this BEFORE adding the chopped pistachios or else they’ll get mushy…and nobody likes a mushy pistachio!
1 1/4 lb brussels sprouts
1 bunch lacinato kale, chiffonade
6 thick slices of bacon (preferably free-range) cooked crisp and crumbled, fat drained and reserved
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 1/2 t minced garlic
1/4 t raw honey
1/4 C lightly toasted, chopped pistachios
- Peel off and discard the darker outer leaves of the sprouts and trim the ends. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise, the slice them crosswise very thinly, transfer to a large heatproof bowl and add the bacon and kale, toss to combine
- Measure 1/4 C of the reserved bacon fat in to a small pan and warm over low heat until liquified (if there is not enough bacon fat then make up the difference with the olive oil).
- Remove from heat and whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, garlic, honey and 1/4 t salt. Drizzle the dressing over the brussels sprouts and toss well.
- Top with toasted pistachios and serve.