Salad shouldn't be an obligation or an afterthought -- and it doesn't always have to be kale, either. Every other Thursday, Elizabeth Stark from Brooklyn Supper will help you make salads you actually want to eat.
Today: Shaving brussels sprouts takes time, but your hard work (and your palpable anticipation) will only make this salad taste better.
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Shaving brussels sprouts takes some time. Over the course of my shaved brussels sprout salad-making career, I've attempted all the shortcuts. I've tried slicing and shredding with a food processor; I’ve grated and shaved on the box grater; I've just cut them really thin with a knife. But the fact remains: No matter how much your fingertips recoil at the thought, the best way to make a shaved brussels sprout salad is to get out your mandoline and hope for the best. (I feel it's necessary to say here that using the guard or a protective glove is really the smartest way to go.)
Of course, if you've had a shaved brussels sprout salad (my first was at the legendary Frankies Spuntino), you know the labor is worth it. And this particular version is definitely worth it. Bacon and bacon grease provide next-level deliciousness and richness. And, of course, that richness calls for some tartness as a counterbalance, which comes in the form of Meyer lemon and tart dried cherries. A light vinaigrette and some fresh horseradish round things out.
It's a lot to pile on a salad, but more than most vegetables, shaved brussels sprouts can handle all those flavors and textures without being overwhelmed. They're also robust enough that you can make this salad well ahead of time and count on it to maintain its crunch. This salad is just the thing for holiday parties, a hearty Thanksgiving side, or just a good, wholesome fall dinner.
1 Meyer lemon 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup dried unsweetened tart cherries 5 strips bacon 1 pound brussels sprouts, ends trimmed 6 large leaves Tuscan kale (about a half a bunch), chopped into thin ribbons 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 teaspoons freshly grated horseradish