I’ve always liked Brussels sprouts, not only for their taste and charming petite cabbage-ness, but also because I’m of Belgian descent and their name is certainly evocative of what I grew up calling the “old country.” We called them by their Flemish name, spruitjes, which makes them even more irresistible. To say it, make sure you roll that r, use a soft oe sound and end with a tchs sound; I’m no linguist, so I hope my pronunciation instruction works for you.
When I was a girl growing up on the farm, my mother grew Brussels sprouts in her garden. They were served boiled, of course, like most self-respecting vegetables back in the day, with a bit of butter to finish and a grating of nutmeg. I’ve since learned there are so many different ways to cook sprouts that make them even better.
If you like Brussels sprouts, this is the salad for you. If you don’t, this is the salad that will make you a spruitjes lover. The thinly, thinly sliced sprouts take on a totally different quality from any cooked sprout you’ve ever had. They end up finely shredded, and a bit of red onion that’s been soaked in water adds extra flavour without the raw bite. The tangy dressing is the perfect complement to the slightly crunchy sprouts.
I found this recipe where I find so many excellent ideas, on the Emmy Cooks blog. Emmy’s recipes are consistently good and many of them have found their way to my kitchen and then to this blog. Do check out her site!
The Culinary Enthusiast and I had this salad for dinner one evening. I don’t remember what else we ate that night; this salad was definitely the star of the meal. Once you try it, you’ll know why!
Brussels Sprout Salad
Slightly adapted from the Emmy Cooks recipe, here.
Thinly slice a small amount of red onion (about 1/4 of a small one) and soak in cold water while you make the rest of the salad. Wash and trim about a half pound of Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half lengthwise and then slice them as thinly as possible. The many layers separate, giving a shredded effect. Of course you could use a food processor for this, but I found it wasn’t too much of a workout to do it by hand. For the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp whole grain mustard, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Once combined, add about 1 tbsp olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Drain the onions and add to the sprouts, then pour over the dressing and toss well. If desired, add some finely grated parmesan cheese, but the salad is excellent without it, too.