Thursday, October 31, 2013

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad w Maple Vinaigrette

I love that Trader Joe's sells shaved brussels sprouts. You could definitely make this salad with halved sprouts, but there's something so nice about making a salad with the shaved pieces. In fact, I'm so smitten with them that I bought a bag, having no idea of what I intended to do with them.

This salad was thus born from a desire to throw as many different but complimentary textures and flavors I could throw into one bowl. Cool, creamy avocado contrasting with crunchy, tart apple. Smoky bacon with a tangy and sweet dressing. It all works deliciously together, and was quick and easy enough to throw together for lunch.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad w Maple Vinaigrette

4 slices of nitrite-free bacon
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
one bag of shaved brussels sprouts (10 oz.)
1 small Granny Smith apple, diced
1 small avocado, peeled and diced
1 tbs. sunflower seeds
1 tbs. juice-sweetened dried cranberries

2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
1.5 tbs. dijon mustard
salt & pepper, to taste

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. Set aside.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove to paper towels and don't drain skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook until softened. Remove to a large bowl.

Add brussels sprouts to skillet. Cook until starting to brown, seasoning with salt and pepper while cooking. Remove to bowl with onion.

Add apple, avocado, sunflower seeds and cranberries to bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss gently to taste.