Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion, Lemon and Pecorino

By • November 9, 2010 116 Comments

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Author Notes: A few weeks ago while having dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Stone Park Cafe, my husband and I shared one of those rare and wonderful dishes that grabs hold of your taste buds and doesn't let go. It was simplicity itself: delicately shaved raw Brussels sprouts with wisps of red onion, a light, lemony dressing spiked generously with whole grain mustard, and a generous hit of tangy Pecorino. I immediately declared that I would try and replicate it at home, and this was met with great enthusiasm by my husband. I'd serve this as a first course, with a nice, crisp white like Gruner Veltliner.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 6

  • 1/2 small red onion
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts (use larger sprouts if possible)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano
  1. Soak the onion slices in a small bowl of cold water for 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Set aside.
  3. Trim all of the Brussels sprouts, cutting off any bruised outer leaves and slicing off a good portion of the hard root end. Using a mandoline, shave the sprouts one at a time. When you're done, use your fingers to gently separate the leaves so that the shredded sprouts resemble a very fine slaw.
  4. Put the sprouts in a serving bowl and toss gently with the onions (which you've now drained) and the dressing. Fold in the pecorino, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately, before it starts to wilt!

Tags: brussels sprouts, Salads, whole grain mustard

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Comments (116) Questions (3)

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5 days ago Judy Stahl

Absolutely deeelishis, a regular part of our diet now. Thanks for this recipe!

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about 1 month ago Jennifer Morris-Dowd

Made this last night for friends and added lemon zest and toasted almonds as suggested by previous reviewers. It was a big hit. I also dressed about 10-15 minutes ahead of dinner. This was not too acidic or sweet, but just right. All of us commented that we would be making this again.

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4 months ago Burf

This is a great way to use Brussels sprouts. When I get an especially tough batch of sprouts, you can also saute them for a few minutes to help soften them up. Add the dressing, and it's more of a warm slaw. Delish. Thanks Merrill!

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4 months ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

One of my favorites. Glad to see it featured!

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4 months ago lora789

Great healthy salad http://lightfeeding.com...

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6 months ago ATG117

Loved this (served with pasta bolognese), but I thought the brussel sprouts needed to soak up the dressing in order to become softened and palatable

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7 months ago Cindy Lou

Oh, and I cut back a bit on the shaved brussels sprouts.......

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7 months ago Cindy Lou

To disguise the brussels sprouts, I varied this by using arugula with the shaved brussels sprouts and red onion. I left out the romano. The dressing is still perfect with it. I get so many compliments and everyone is surprised when I tell them afterwards that there are raw brussels sprouts in it. The arugula gives it a nice flavor that goes well with the other ingredients.

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8 months ago Iris9

Eating this salad as I write and it is scrumptious. I agree with earlier comments. It's much too heavy on the lemon, so next time I would reduce the amount. I added dried cranberries, and prepped my brussels sprouts with a food processor -- easy-peasy. Love it!

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9 months ago Sophia Henkel

I made this for the second time tonight. Last time for a dinner party, tonight fire or weekly food prep, it really holds up quite well. This time I had no red pontoons so used shallots, still great.

It will be one of the vegetarian dishes I make for my son's first birthday next month, it is that good.

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11 months ago Dana

I added zest of a meyer lemon to the dressing, I like the sweeter flavor of that in addition to the juice as a balanced dressing.

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11 months ago Gillian

This was so quick and easy to make. I didn't have any lemons so I used apple cider vinegar. Super yum!

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over 1 year ago Cindy G.

This healthy recipe sounds tasty, I'll try it.

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over 1 year ago PamCap 2109

I roasted some of the shaved brussel sprouts to add some texture added almonds and skipped the cheese. It was fantastic

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over 1 year ago cmita18

This recipe has gotten me through the winter without getting sick of sprouts. Absolutely delicious for lunches throughout the week if you keep the dressing separate (I just keep the mason jar in the fridge at work). The first time I found the dressing a bit too acidic for my test, but I just added a bit more oil and honey until I found the right balance.

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over 1 year ago Lilly

Made this tonight for dinner my hubby hates Brussels sprouts (or so he thought) this wags absolutely wonderful!

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over 1 year ago JohnL

Last week I had a similar salad at Clyde's here in the D.C. area. They served it on a long rectangular plate with toasted pine nuts and the cheese was in thin shards over the top. Dressed so lightly that it seemed dry, but they did put 1/2-tsp dots of creamy whole grain mustard vinaigrette at intervals around the perimeter of the plate. If you had one of those Kyocera ceramic mini mandolines, it would be ideal for getting extremely fine and uniform shreds of brussels sprouts. This is on my try-at-home list, and I also plan to try it with Edward Giobbi's Foriana sauce (also on this site). That sauce is terrific to have on hand in the fridge. Its like a walnut garlic pine nut pesto with whole golden raisins, served with pecorino. It is sensational.

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over 1 year ago [email protected]

I love this salad!! Used the mandolin (didn't cut off the stem end and folded the outer leaves back for a "handle" to slice them, then discarded the very bottom". Added a few reduced sugar craisins, a few toasted almonds - wonderful! I think dressing the salad a little before serving (as you do cole slaw) would be nice too. Thanks you for a new favorite!

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over 1 year ago APinNYC

I made this with parmesan and it was amazingly delicious. I also used a sharp knife to cut the sprouts into thin strips. it took forever, but was worth it. Finally-- i sautéed the red onions for a bit to take the sting out and that worked well too. An adaptable recipe for sure!

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over 1 year ago diegan5

great tip on the onions. .will try next time. . or slice the onions on the mandolin

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almost 2 years ago Joe Craner














went with the almonds too...yum

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almost 2 years ago natalie

How many cups do the brussels sprouts end up being once shredded? I'm hoping to use the pre-shredded sprouts from TJs!

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about 2 years ago Kelly Dennison

Loved this!!!

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about 2 years ago Jennifer Sampson

Ahhhhmazing! Absolutely drool-worthy! I omitted the pecorino and will sprinkle nutritional yeast instead. Thanks!

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over 2 years ago lisatozzi

Made this the other night. Terrific recipe. I added shaved almonds to the mix.

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over 2 years ago Tiamia

This is a wonderful recipe; my husband loves it and he hates brussel sprouts. I add Craisins to it for extra flavor and texture.

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over 2 years ago vaughan

thought it needed a bit of something... added some shopped walnuts.
delicious and will make again.

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over 2 years ago Tbird

Making this for Valentine's dinner tonight. Serving with lamb chops (broiled) and a quinoa/brown rice combo. Shrimp cocktail for an app, and cupcakes for dessert (okay, the cupcakes are left over from a work function this afternoon, but it's till counts, right?)

And of course, our romantic dinner won't be complete without out two daughters, who usually love how I make Brussels sprouts. Hope they like these!

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over 2 years ago Cindafuckingrella

Looks Yu-hum!

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over 2 years ago walkie74

hmm, there are huge bags of mixed greens, including brussels sprouts, at Costco...I could toss the poppyseed dressing in the bag and make yours instead. Oh, this looks like a winner!

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over 2 years ago tamater sammich

I'm sorry, but I have to tell the truth: we really didn't like this at all. Looks like we're in the minority. Oh well, everybody can't like everything all the time.
But Merrill, we do like a lot of your recipes, so thanks.

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over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry to hear you didn't like it, but thanks for staying open-minded!

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over 2 years ago fayehess

thank you Merrill! This looks so good; I can't wait to try the combination of brussel and romano. I only wish I had a good resource for pec. romano, as most are bitter and dusty from what I can find. (the stuff I have had in Italy is a whooooole other ball game.)

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over 2 years ago bethgardh

can i substitute leek for the onion? much less bite and better flavor

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about 2 years ago Luana Pacheco

I use shallots

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over 2 years ago suzygregory

I was accidentally in "Features" and saw a different version of your recipe calling for 2 tsp mustard instead of 1 tsp as listed above. Which do you prefer?

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over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I've tried it with both. I'd recommend starting with 1 teaspoon and tasting the dressing, then adding more mustard if you like.

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over 2 years ago cd1600

Found bagged, shredded brussel spouts at Trader Joe's the other day! Can't wait to try this!

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over 2 years ago Emily Louise

Hi Merrill,
They serve this (or very similar) at one of LA's hottest new Downtown restaurants, http://bacomercat.com/
Have been wanting to guestimate the recipe but you've just made it easier! Question - why do you soak the onion??

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over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So happy this was useful! I soak the onion to get rid of some of the bite -- it's an optional step.

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over 2 years ago Christa and Wes

This sounds wonderful! My husband has an allergy to raw onions, but can eat onions that are completely cooked. What could the raw red onions be replaced with?

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over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You could skip them if you like. If he can eat raw garlic, you could whisk half a clove into the dressing.

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over 2 years ago klinda

I've used radishes or fennel as a raw onion substitute with good results.

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over 2 years ago Andge

I make this fairly often, and it's a crowd pleaser. I also use a mandoline. But also I bake some thin slices of prosciutto until they are crisp, then crumble them into the mix. Amazing.

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over 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Love the idea of a bacon or prosciutto addition!

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over 2 years ago CentralCoastContessa

Wonderful! I made this last night for dinner with my husband and daughter-home-from-college. I added a little sauteed bacon. We all loved it and agreed it belongs in regular rotation! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago estelle

I tried this tonight and enjoyed it. I found the mandoline too difficult since the brussel sprouts are so small. I will try other suggestions that are posted next time. I did not care for the honey in the dressing. I will try to leave it out altogether or use a bit of sugar instead next time.

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almost 3 years ago jsk

Looks delicious! Would it work to shred the sprouts in a food processor?

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almost 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

You'll get a different, slightly uneven texture, but if slicing the sprouts by hand is going to keep you from making the recipe, by all means use a food processor!

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almost 3 years ago Jaynerly

I made this by shredding the sprouts in my food processor, it worked just fine and tasted great!

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almost 3 years ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I loved it, loved it, loved it! Served with fresh baguette and crisp white, it felt like God's gift to humanity.

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about 3 years ago Jed129

Made this last week to serve alongside the Pastitsio(http://www.food52.com/recipes...) -- a great light compliment to the heavy pasta. Brought it all to a friend's for dinner and everyone went back for seconds and thirds... Will be making again SOON!

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over 2 years ago Patricia Landers Gee

I read Jed's comment and made this with the Pastitsio as well. Delicious! My husband thought the dressing was too acidic, but I did use a rather juicy lemon. My son and I loved it as we like a bit more of a vinegary dressing.

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over 3 years ago sirisja

Made this last night to accompany some baked potatoes. It was delicious! Next time I think I might add some toasted hazelnuts to the mix, love the brussels sprout/hazelnut pairing. Thanks for a good recipe!

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over 3 years ago Frank Ball

Very nice recipe. Found it easier to shave sprouts on mandoline if I didn't cut out the hard core, but rather used it as a handle to hold onto the sprout. Started shaving from the top, and had a nice, firm, easy-to-grip handle as I shaved the sprout all the way down

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over 2 years ago estelle

This is a good idea. I did not like using the mandoline as I feared slicing my fingers and then it was too hard to use the finger guard to slice them. I will try your method next time or just use a knife or food processor

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over 3 years ago maggiesara

Sounds fabulous, very much (with the addition of some toasted hazelnuts) like my favorite salad at Morandi, in Manhattan. However, I think this recipe, as written, is a perfect example of why it's time to switch to using weight rather than volume as a measure: "One cup" of whole sprouts is essentially a meaningless measurement; a cup of small, marble-sized sprouts will provide a lot more lunch than will a cup of large sprouts. One might as well call for a quart of lamb chops.

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over 3 years ago judi hendricks

I so agree with addition of hazelnuts. Also with using weight rather than volume for measuring. It makes everything so much easier and faster...and speaking of faster, I use my politically incorrect food processor for shredding the sprouts.

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over 2 years ago tamater sammich

I agree about the "quart of lamb chops" - did it ever make me laugh, as I'm going shoppint soon, and am now combing the comments section here, to see if any body has given a weight measurement...guess I have to keep reading...













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over 3 years ago Kreardon

Very refreshing. Used Dijon and parm. No mandoline needed. Perfect accompaniment to a rich meal.

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over 3 years ago daisybrain

At the big New Years Day party yesterday this salad was a big hit. I had lots of requests for the recipe and I am sharing readily. I finally got to it hours later and it was still fresh and crisp. The party was a mozzarella smack down so the raw Brussels sprouts were appreciated by all.

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over 3 years ago PSW67

This was wonderful to take to my SIL for Christmas Eve! Prepped and kept the
components separate until serving time. Many compliments - I look like a rock star!

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over 3 years ago thirschfeld

I think it is time to put this on the Christmas eve menu.

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over 3 years ago deepthiw

Just tried it out with parmesan instead of pecorino (for expediency's sake since I didn't have any on hand) and it was perfect -- my favorite preparation of brussels sprouts by far! I might add a little lemon zest in next time to counterbalance the cheese.

I'm glad to have a way to highlight the sharp bite of brussels sprouts. It's the same quality I love about cabbage and makes me think a brussels sprout slaw might be very complimentary to a Vietnamese style meal. Thanks for a fabulous recipe!

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over 3 years ago Heidrun

I made this - despite protests - as a salad for Thanksgiving. Didn't have a mandoline, but a sharp kitchen knife did the trick. My father insists he hates brussel sprouts, and nearly everyone else said they sounded terrible raw. Once they had it, though, everyone grabbed seconds. It couldn't have gone better, and now I feel like a bit of a magician for turning raw brussel sprouts into something everyone loves.

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over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Wow, a convert! The ultimate compliment.

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over 3 years ago rroseperry

Made this for a T-Day side dish. It's lovely and light, but the key is to use a madoline. The sprouts shoul be as lacy as possible.

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over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Indeed!

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over 3 years ago daisybrain

This sounds yummy. I adore Brussels sprouts. Just need to super careful slicing something so very small with my mandoline. I adore Brussels sprouts but I adore my fingers more.

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over 3 years ago Alanna Kellogg

I write the "restaurant recipe request" column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a recipe very similar to this is the only one for which I've gotten three separate requests. To give the chef credit, it's Steve Komorek from Trattoria Marcella. He says it's one of a handful of dishes that would cause customer revolt if he were to ever take it off the menu!

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over 3 years ago enbe

The mandoline got me on this one but I still enjoyed this recipe! It was a nice refreshing change of pace at our otherwise heavy Food52 potluck.

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almost 4 years ago My Pantry Shelf

We had this for dinner tonight and it was very good. My son loved it and I'm sure my daughter would have too (if only she would have taken the first bite). I think many people are turned off by brussels sprout dishes, because they are often overcooked and an take on an unpleasant texture and smell. These are light and crunchy and very much unlike your typical brussel sprout dish. I will make it again.

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over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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almost 4 years ago vassar82

Why does a recipe about make-ahead dishes end with "Serve immediately, before it starts to wilt"?

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over 3 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Actually, that was an error in tagging. But Tarragon is right -- you could make the components ahead (keep the shredded sprouts in ice water to maintain their crispness) and combine at the last minute.

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almost 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I guess I'm liking the new format, because I didn''t see this recipe before. It's just screaming at me to play with it. We are big Brussels sprouts fans. And just maybe this will make me finally use the mandoline my sister gave me three years ago. ;>D

I'm thinking a hot bacon dressing might add dimension to the salad. What say you?

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almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad to hear it! I think a hot bacon dressing would be divine! Suspect it would works wonders with the raw red onion.

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almost 4 years ago mboerner

Trouble with brussels sprouts for guests is that there is always someone at the table who have the gene that makes brussels sprouts taste bitter and acrid. Wouldn't serve to guests. Also, personally, think salad for a first course ruins the taste of what's to come. Should be a taste cleanser, not a taste killer.

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almost 4 years ago galsmu

Love this recipe! Made this last night and it was a huge hit. I added some pine nuts to add a bit of sweetness and texture - and also because I love them.

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almost 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it!

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about 4 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Oh I can't wait to make this!

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about 4 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Many thanks, Merrill! I didn't know the blanching might have contributed to chewiness. Great tip!

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about 4 years ago RoundLake Cook

I made this recipe for the third time last night and it was so yummy, I ate practically the whole batch myself! Thanks!

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about 4 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I blanched my b. sprouts as hubby does not love them anyway so I thought this would make them go down easier. :) The pecorino was great with them but overall, I didn't love this. The sprouts were chewy despite being fresh, and the dressing lacked a bit of interest. Something like candied pecans might be a nice addition. A nice recipe but not one I'd make again.

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about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry this didn't suit your taste. Blanching the sprouts may have had something to do with them being chewy, not crisp. Interesting idea to add candied nuts.

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about 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Just checked out the photo on your blog, and I think it might have made a difference if you had sliced the onion and sprouts a little more thinly (they really should be shaved) -- all the flavors would likely have been better distributed. Just a suggestion in case you do ever decide to try it again!

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over 4 years ago MjrScoop

Big hit at dinner tonight, thanks!

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over 4 years ago chrisb

Merrill, this looks fantastic! I will have to put it on my list when I actually get into the kitchen to cook dinner for hubby Mr. Ouichefnetwork, since we both love those tiny little cabbages.

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over 4 years ago Mollyh

Just made this with blanched sprouts--wow, it's a keeper! My husband said it was "by far" one of the best salads he's ever had. Can't wait to do this one again!

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over 4 years ago WishWorks

I made this wonderful salad for my wellness class last week. All were delighted and said it was tasty. They have been sharing it with many and the feedback has been great.
I do not care for cooked sprouts and often look for new ways to prepare healthy greens. This one is tops on my list....Thank you!

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over 4 years ago Clover88

Had it for dinner last night and lunch again today. Delicious. Thanks!

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over 4 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Bookmarked!

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over 4 years ago Jvp2011

Nice recipe...for another idea on sprouts, check this out too
http://www8.food52.com...

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over 4 years ago caitsyates

Great recipe! And you can prep it in advance, just wait to mix the shredded sprouts with the dressing until right before serving.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Good suggestion.

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over 4 years ago Amy Doyle

I think this would be a nice alternative to the heavy side dishes we usually serve for Thanksgiving. But this was my first time making it, here in March, wishing and hoping for spring. It gives brussels sprouts a nice spring-like twist. I love it.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you enjoyed it!

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over 4 years ago Jaynerly

Wow I loved this! I had it without the pecorino. It was delicious! I just chopped the Brussels in my food processor as I have neither a mandoline or patience!

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

It's all about priorities... :)

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over 4 years ago flavoristabarr

I made this and LOVED it! I actually added some sumac to my onions after they soaked and it added a nice touch.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great idea.

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over 3 years ago Betsy Critchfield

what is sumac?

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over 4 years ago courtneycarlson

I've made it three times, shredded ahead twice with no problem. Also, had some leftover and soaked in dressing overnight--still delicious, my husband thought even better.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Interesting! And great to know, thanks.

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over 4 years ago cheese1227

Merrill -- is there harm in shredding the sprouts in advance -- I need to make this for 14.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Sorry, somehow I missed this question -- I would think you could shred them an hour or two in advance, although they'll wilt a little.

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over 4 years ago courtneycarlson

This is ridiculously good. I thought we'd try and get our 6 & 4 year olds excited about brussels sprouts with this one, but husband and I polished off all of it before we even sat down to dinner. Can't wait to make it again.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad it was a success!

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over 4 years ago PFossil

This was fantastic, although my mandoline wasn't up to the task -- it just couldn't grab the little bugger tightly enough. Fortunately I had two excellent sous chefs (my daughter and niece) who did a great job shredding the sprouts. I can't praise this dish enough. I wanted to make it again the next day, but reason prevailed.

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks so much!

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over 4 years ago helicopterina

Just made this last night as trial run for Thanksgiving ---delicious! Am thinking am thinking about adding toasted walnuts....

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Great idea!

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

No, they're left raw. You could also blanch them briefly if you prefer.

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over 4 years ago adamnsvetcooking

I made the recipe for dinner on Sunday, and it was a big hit at the dinner table. The recipe is going to be making an appearance on Thanksgiving dinner :)

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over 4 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

So glad you liked it. Happy Thanksgiving!