So imagine my surprise when I saw an article about food trends in The Wall Street Journal. Using Brussels sprouts raw in a salad was one of the food trends pictured in a photo accompanying Sarah Nassauer's article, Here Today, Kale Tomorrow: The Arc of a Food Fad.
And, lo and behold, I had Brussels sprouts in the fridge, ready to use raw in a salad recipe I found on Iowa Girl Eats.
Food trends typically advance in predictable stages. New culinary fashions often appear first in a creative chef's kitchen, at an ethnic restaurant or are invented by the eccentric owner of a small food company. ... Foods like acai, kimchi, kale, coconut sugar, sprouted grains and fancy burgers first became popular this way. In the early stage, almost anything can get a day in the sun. Cricket flour is now being pitched by a handful of small companies as cheap protein. ...OK, let's not get crazy now. There will be no cricket flour in the County Line kitchen. But Brussels sprouts? I can get trendy for those!
The fresh taste of the Brussels sprouts is enhanced with salty crumbled bacon and almonds. Red apple and dried cranberries add just the right hint of sweetness. And a homemade warm bacon vinaigrette dressing brings it all together.
This time, I served it with teriyaki-glazed salmon and cheese grits. Yummy! The fresh salad was definitely better than the leftovers, so if you can, just make enough for one meal.
Fresh Brussels Sprouts Salad
(with apples, almonds & bacon)
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats4 slices bacon, reserving fat
Olive oil, if needed
1 tbsp. shallots(or substitute sweet onions)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or white balsamic)
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
1/4 cup whole salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 red, tart apple (like Jonathan, McIntosh or Pink Lady)
2-3 tbsp. dried cranberries
Cook bacon until crisp in large skillet over medium heat. Remove to paper towel to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons bacon grease in skillet, adding extra virgin olive oil if there's not enough. To the bacon grease over medium heat, add shallots and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Return skillet to heat and whisk until ingredients are combined, about 30 seconds. Again, remove from heat.
Using a grating blade attachment on a food processor, slice trimmed Brussels sprouts very thin. Put in a large bowl. Crumble cooled bacon. Add to Brussels sprouts, along with chopped almonds, apple and dried cranberries. Pour dressing over the salad. Mix and serve immediately.