Monday, January 31, 2011

Food: Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Salad

A couple of weeks ago one of my coworkers brought this salad in his lunch. Due to the bleakness of winter and the drabness of our office space, there was much oohing and ahhing over the bright colors, and the melding of iridescent purple with fresh green. Then came the talk about how this could probably be considered a "super foods" sort of meal. Everyone appeared quite impressed...and potentially a little jealous. But the coincidence was, I had already added the ingredients for this salad to my grocery list the day prior...My colleague and I had both apparently nabbed the recipe out of the latest Food and Wine magazine in the same week.

There are a bunch of things to like about this salad: It's relatively simple. It has wonderful flavors - almost like a modern, super healthy coleslaw (it may become my replacement for the regular kind once summer rolls around). It's bright and colorful. It's hearty. It would fit with multiple seasons (hence my previous comment about summer). It's a booming combination of flavors - sweet, tart, spicy, nutty, and bright. And it's so super fulfilling.

The first day we had this was for lunch as a side to a wonderfully warm and crisp Jarlesburg and Tuscan Pane (an awesome bread found at Trader Joe's) grilled cheese sandwich. A couple of days later I turned it into a main dish enhanced with shavings of Grana Padano. It even went great for dinner one night along side an Amy's Organic California-style garden burger. Like I said, this is a salad that is versatile. It goes just as fantastic with a vegetarian meal as it would with a smoky, juicy steak. It will also last for several days without turning into a soggy mess. And if your kids (or spouse) are currently afraid of brussels sprouts, this may be a salad to help hold their hand and ease them into a wonderful world they are definitely missing from their lives. You will make this again - maybe even crave it. I promise.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cabbage and Pine Nuts

Slightly modified from a recipe by Nicolas Jammet of Washington, DC's Sweetgreen - published in Food and Wine


  • 1/2 c pine nuts
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t chile powder
  • 1 small head of red cabbage, very thinly sliced (~6 cups)
  • 1/2 c dried cranberries
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the brussels sprouts are lightly caramelized and tender.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the honey, mustard, cayenne and chile powder. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the toasted pine nuts and cranberries. In a small skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 1 minute. Scrape the garlic and hot oil over the cabbage. Add the brussels sprouts and toss, then add the dressing, toss again, and serve.

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