With its brussels sprouts, apple, cheddar, rye bread, and mustard, this hearty salad is the kind of thing you’ll want alongside a sausage and beer on a Saturday, but—good news—it’s also light enough for Tuesday’s lunch, and making it won’t drag you down, either. The mustard-coated brussels sprouts roast on a baking sheet next to another where torn pieces of rye bread are toasting. Then there’s some quick knife work cubing apples and cheddar, and some graceful dressing-whisking, and you have lunch. To take this salad to work, pack up the brussels sprouts, breadcrumbs, arugula, and cheese separately, and bring the cut apples in the vinaigrette so that the acid in the dressing keeps the apples from browning. Toss everything together when you’re hungry. —Ali Slagle
brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
red pepper flakes
Dijon mustard, for drizzling
olive oil, plus more for drizzling
slices Jewish rye bread
tart, crisp apple (like Granny Smith or Jonagold)
Heat the oven to 400°F. Dump the brussels sprouts into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and the red pepper flakes, and drizzle with enough olive oil and mustard to coat. Give the brussels sprouts a good toss with your hands, making sure they’re well-coated with oil and mustard. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast, stirring once for even browning, until crispy and cooked through about 25 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, tear the bread into small pieces (about 1/2-inch squares). On another parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the breadcrumbs out, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated. Toast in the oven until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes.
Peel and core the apple, then cut it into small (say, ½ inch) cubes. Cube the cheddar the same size, too. In a small bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then whisk in about 3/4 cup olive oil—enough so that the dressing is emulsified and tastes good to you.
Once the brussels sprouts are at room temperature, add them to a mixing bowl with the apple, cheddar, and arugula. Pour over a little vinaigrette (you may not need all of it), gently toss, and add more vinaigrette if the salad looks dry. Then add the breadcrumbs and serve.