Chosen Bites: Brussels sprouts get mini makeover

Reinvent the forever-dreaded Brussels sprout with this simple salad recipe.

Brussels sprout salad (photo credit: Laura Frankel)
Brussels sprout salad
(photo credit: Laura Frankel)
I recently served a large platter of Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad to my family and guests. Everyone raved and the platter was licked clean. Raw Brussels sprouts are mild tasting and don't have that usual “cabbage” taste. The crispy texture is always a hit.
Pairing the salad with a creamy avocado dressing and buttery cashews is a winning combination. Brussels sprouts belong to the cabbage family and contain all the cancer fighting compounds found in all cabbages. Boiling and overcooking these healthy little cabbages greatly reduces the cancer fighting compounds, but eating them raw leaves all the nutrition intact.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
1 ½ pound of Brussels sprouts, washed and dried with outer leaves peeled and discarded 1 small red onion, peeled 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
1. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and lay the cut side down on a cutting board and slice very thinly or place in a food processor and use the slicing blade the shave the sprouts.
2. Slice the onion very thinly and toss together with the shaved Brussels sprouts.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.
4. Before serving, dress with Avocado Cream Vinaigrette and garnish with Candied Cashews and shaved Parmesan cheese for dairy or omit for meat.
Avocado Cream Vinaigrette
2 ripe avocados, mashed with a fork ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Process the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. Store with a piece of parchment on the surface of the vinaigrette to prevent discoloring, in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Candied Cashews
2 cups roasted cashews 1/2 cup sugar 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon coarse salt
1. In a large stainless-steel skillet, combine cashews, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until water evaporates and sugar crystallizes around nuts, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the cayenne and salt and stir into nuts and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until sugar begins to melt and caramelize, 1-2 minutes.
3.Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cool to room temperature before serving, about 5 minutes.
Chef Laura Frankel is Executive Chef for Spertus Kosher Catering and author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons, and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.