Brussels Sprouts and Anjou Pear Salad
You can never have too many salad recipes, can you?
Especially not the kind of sturdy salad that you can make on the week-end to last you all week, like this Brussels Sprouts and Anjou Pear Salad. Those are my favorite kinds. Although that’s not necessarily the way it goes for me, because I tend to lose track of what day of the week this is, you know… but I think that’s true of most people who work from home. I don’t think I’m getting senile or anything. At least not just yet.
Regardless. I love to be able to make a salad on say, Tuesday, and have it last me all the way to the next, say, Sunday. That works SUPERBLY well for me. I’m not sure that it works quite as well for you guys, because when I make a huge, sturdy salad like this one, I end up feeding off it for 5 days in a row and all my pictures look the same on Instagram. Mind you, all my pictures always look the same anyway, so I’m not sure it makes much of a difference in the end. It does make a huge difference in my life, though. It allows me to focus on other things than worrying about what I am going to eat that day. I like having things planned ahead of time and having food on my plate in under 15 minutes when I’m ready to eat.
For that, leftovers are the best, and sturdy salads such as this one are my top faves!
And hey, as summer approaches, bringing along a wide offering of fresh local produce, I guess you can expect me to post more and more of these.
I certainly hope you won’t mind…
There are a few key steps that you need to follow in order to make this salad a complete success. First, you need to shave the Brussels sprouts SUPER thinly, as in almost paper thin. I find the best way to do that it by using the slicing disk of my food processor. This gets the job done SO quickly and efficiently.
See what I mean? I got me this great big bowlful in just a few seconds.
Alternatively, you *could* slice your sprouts with the slicing side of a box grater, use a mandolin, or slice them as thinly as you can with a sharp knife, but while they would most certainly get the job done, none of these techniques will be nearly as quick or efficient as the food processor.
Just sayin’, you know…
Now that your Brussels sprouts are all nice and thinly shaved, place them in a large mixing bowl and then set them aside. Shave a quarter of a small red cabbage using the same technique you used for your sprouts (again, that food processor does wonders!) and put that in a separate mixing bowl, along with the julienned pears, raisins, toasted pecans, macadamia nuts, sage and thyme. Set that aside as well.
Now about those pears, make sure you use underripe fruits. They need to be green and real firm, like an apple, else they’ll just turn to mush on you. And if you can’t find Anjou pears, feel free to use any other variety, such as Bartlett, Bosc, or even Asian pears. As a last resort, I’m sure apples would work just fine, although they may tend to turn brown on you… Not all that appetizing, but still tasty nonetheless.
Oh, and while you’re at it, you might as well go ahead and shave that entire head of cabbage and save the leftovers it in a plastic container. Then you can use it to quickly add a little bit of crunch and color to your salads or sautéed veggies. That’s one of my favorite things to have in the fridge!
Alright, now that all the fruits, veggies, nuts and herbs are prepped, we need to make the dressing. That won’t take too long: in a large glass measuring cup, add all the required ingredients and mix well with a flat whisk until smooth, creamy and slightly emulsified.
Pour this dressing right over the shaved Brussels sprouts.
Now, here’s another key step to making this salad a yummy success. You need to mix the dressing and Brussels sprouts really well WITH YOUR HANDS, massaging and bruising the sprouts quite aggressively for 2 or 3 minutes to get them to soften up and release some of their water.
If you fail to do that, your sprouts will remain tough and won’t be fun to eat at all.
This is what you want your sprouts to look like before you move on to the next step. See how they wilted and how their color got much more vivid?
Almost like a slaw… trust me, this step is crucial. No matter how much I hate having my hands dirty, I would never dream of skipping it.
Now you can go ahead and the rest of the reserved ingredients and continue mixing with your hands, (they’re already dirty anyway) but delicately this time, until all the ingredients are well combined and coated in the dressing.
Cover the salad and transfer it to the refrigerator; let it rest for at least 2 hours to allow for flavors to meld, or better yet overnight.
Don’t worry about it getting soggy or mushy on you. Like I said, this salad will remain surprisingly fresh for up to 5 days if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
When ready to serve, transfer your salad to a nice serving bowl, garnish with a few slices of pears and a bit of fresh herbs if desired, and enjoy with your favorite side of protein!
Oh, and did I tell you how brilliant it is in the morning, alongside a couple of pan fried egg? Best start to your day, ever!
Try it, you’ll see!
Brussels Sprouts and Anjou Pear Salad
- Place the shaved Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, place the shaved red cabbage, along with the julienned pear, raisins, toasted pecans, macadamia nuts, sage and thyme. Set that aside as well.
- Make the dressing: in a large glass measuring cup, add all the ingredients and mix well with a flat whisk until smooth, creamy and slightly emulsified. Pour this dressing over the shaved Brussels sprouts and mix really well with your hands, massaging and bruising the sprouts quite aggressively for 2 or 3 minutes to get them to soften up and release some of their water. Then, add the rest of the reserved ingredients and continue mixing with your hands, delicately this time, until all the ingredients are well combined and coated in the dressing.
- Cover the salad and transfer it to the refrigerator; let it rest for at least 2 hours to allow for flavors to meld, or better yet overnight.
- This salad will remain surprisingly fresh for up to 5 days if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.