Tuesday, December 7, 2010

brussel sprouts for the holidays - recipe 1: red & green salad - recipe 2: shredded brussels sprouts with bacon and nuts

Tis the season for potlucks, parties and paunches. I’m kidding about the paunches but seriously, if a girl isn’t careful… Which brings me to my point: as much as I love cheese, chocolate and cheese (I love cheese so much that I had to mention it twice), I think that most of us appreciate a few healthy yet delicious menu items, especially at this time of the year.

My Mom has been making this delicious salad for years and its red and green appearance is perfect for holiday entertaining. I didn’t care for it as a kid – Brussels sprouts, cabbage and blue cheese just didn’t appeal to me, but I have certainly grown to love it. This recipe doubles and/or triples easily if you’re feeding a crowd.

red & green salad
from “Pure and Simple” by Marian Burros, 1978
(serves 6)


  • 3 (three) tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (two) tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ (one-and-one-half) tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (one) large clove garlic, pressed
  • ¼ (one-quarter) small head red cabbage, coarsely shredded
  • 10 (ten) raw Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 (one-third) cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 (two) tablespoons chopped green onion


  • Mix together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic.
    Beat or shake to blend well (dressing can be made ahead).
  • Gently stir dressing into cabbage and Brussels sprouts just before serving, along with cheese and green onion.

dana’s tip

If you’re not a fan of blue cheese or cabbage but are willing to give Brussels sprouts a try, consider making this delicious shredded Brussels sprouts recipe which was featured in the LCBO “Food and Drink” magazine a number of years ago. Shredding the Brussels sprouts and cooking them for a short amount of time disguises them – not only in appearance but in taste (they aren’t nearly as strong in flavour as traditional steamed sprouts). I often substitute the pine nuts for whatever I have in my cupboard – think almonds, pecans or walnuts, and I leave out the bacon and nuts altogether if I want to save some calories. As will be the case in January!

shredded brussels sprouts with bacon and nuts
(serves 8)


  • 1½ lbs. (750 g) Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
  • 6 slices prosciutto or pancetta or regular bacon, chopped
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) pine nuts
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Remove root end and core from Brussels sprouts, cut in half and thinly slice.
  • Heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add bacon. Sauté until beginning to crisp. Add sprouts and sauté for 3 minutes. Cover pan and cook 2 minutes longer or until sprouts are crisp-tender and bright green.
  • Toss in pine nuts, sauté 1 minute and season with salt and pepper.

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