Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
When we moved to our acreage, we inherited an Asian Pear tree. After four years of less-than-desirable results, we received a bountiful harvest! In fact, I had to remove pears from the ends of the branches because the branches were so heavily laden, they were bending and breaking. In preparation for a potential windfall of pears … and praying a virtual windfall would not drop every single one of those beauties to the ground … I turned to my stash of untried recipes. You know, the ones we cut out of magazines, print off the internet, receive from family and friends, but have yet to make it to the table? I found two recipes for salads that looked like delicious ways to enjoy some of those pears. I took a little from one recipe, a little from the other, and added a few twists of my own to create this fall-flavor-packed salad: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad.
Buckets and buckets of pears … I made pear sauce, two kinds of pear butter, dehydrated pears … my neighbor made a pear bundt cake and caramel-pear cookies … another neighbor made jam. The goats next door were happy to see me wander into their yard, toting another round of treats.
Asian pears are round and have the texture of an apple but are juicy and flavored like a pear.
Creating this recipe, I tried to capture the flavors of fall that would compliment the pears. Brussels sprouts serve as the base. Wheat berries (good protein source) provide a nutty flavor and a chewy texture. Onions sautéed in olive oil and finished with apple cider vinegar creates the warm dressing which tenderizes the shaved sprouts. Toasted walnuts add a nutty crunch and prosciutto adds salt. But it is the pears that shine. They add that sweet, fresh burst that balances all the other ingredients.
SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD INGREDIENTS
Brussels sprouts are not only a superfood, they are a grocery store gem! These inexpensive veggies have shelf life. Even when they start to brown or look a little “dry”, simply peel a few layers of the leaves. These leaves act as protectors for the sprouts. The closer you get to the center, the more tender the leaves.
If pears aren’t available, apples make an excellent substitution. Quinoa, farro, or even wild rice can replace the wheat berries. While I absolutely love the combination of prosciutto and pears, bacon is a delicious option too.
This Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad will make two meal-sized servings or 4 side servings. It would also make an awesome addition to avocado toast.
If only I could send you some pears!
If you like this recipe, check out my Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Prosciutto!
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
- 10 Brussels Sprouts medium sized
- 3 slices prosciutto see note below
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced purple onions
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup cooked wheat berries see note below
- 1 fresh pear or apple
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese optional
- For each Brussels sprout, cut the stem end off and remove 3-4 leaves. Rinse sprouts with cold water. Drain well.
- Slice each sprout into thin circles and place in a large glass bowl. The 10 sprouts should produce about 3 cups shaved.
- Place prosciutto slices in a sauté pan over med-low heat. Turn the slices after one to two minutes, or when the prosciutto begins to brown/crisp. When both sides of the prosciutto have crisped and most of the fat has been rendered out, remove from pan and set aside.
- With pan still at a med-low heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the sliced onions. Stir the onions to coat with the olive oil, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to release the flavor and fat leftover from the prosciutto. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until onions are tender. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to pan. Stir to combine and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Pour the onion mixture over the shaved Brussels sprouts and toss together. The warm dressing will wilt the sprouts slightly and make them tender.
- To the same pan, reduce the heat to low and add the walnuts. Toast the walnuts for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from pan; set aside. Turn off the burner.
- Cut the pear into quarters and remove core. Dice 3 of the quarters into small cubes. Slice the remaining quarter thinly.
- Toss the shaved Brussels sprouts with the cooked wheat berries, diced pears, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese (if desired). Squeeze half a lemon over the top of the salad and toss.
- Tear the crispy prosciutto into small pieces and scatter on top of the salad. Garnish with the sliced pears.
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