Smoky bacon, garlic, sweet cranberries rehydrated in a bit of white wine vinegar, toasted almonds, a sprinkle of creamy feta – this warm shaved brussel sprout salad is a delicious chilly weather salad to serve as a side or main dish. Looking for holiday recipes? Here’s a crowd pleaser!
Whether you serve as-is, topped on toasty bread as a bruschetta, or served with shrimp, chicken, or an egg, this is not-your-average Joe brussel sprout salad!
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Makes: a side dish for 4 people or a main dish for 2 people
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
~18 ounces (roughly 1 lb.) shaved brussel sprouts (either store-bought shaved or shaved with a mandolin)
¾ pound Applewood smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized chunks
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup sliced almonds
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar (not regular balsamic!)
2 tablespoons feta
Dash of hot pepper flakes (to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil
TIP: I usually use white wine vinegar to reconstitute (soak) the cranberries and white balsamic to finish the dish, but you can also use one or the other throughout the entire dish!
Preheat oven to 375.
For reconstituted cranberries: In a medium bowl, add dried cranberries, 1 cup of tap water and 1/3 cup white wine or white balsamic vinegar. Stir and let cranberries “reconstitute” (rehydrate) for at least 20 minutes.
For toasted almonds: While cranberries are reconstituting, on a baking sheet, place sliced almonds and toast in oven for 5-7 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven when almonds are light golden brown.
For assembly: Cook bacon ahead of time in a dry pot until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove bacon from pot and set aside. Drain excess fat from pot, leaving bacon drippings in the bottom of the pot.
Add olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the bacon pot. Add garlic, and sweat for one minute over medium heat. Add shaved brussel sprouts and sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat until brussel sprouts are al-dente and turn bright green. Add more olive oil if brussel sprouts look dry or you hear a “popping” noise (which usually means the pot is too dry).
Drain cranberries. Add drained cranberries, bacon, toasted almonds, and a dash of hot pepper flakes. Toss until combined.
Add a ½ tablespoon to a tablespoon more of vinegar and stir.
Remove from heat and plate family-style, on side dishes, or in pasta bowls for a main dish.
Sprinkle with feta.
TIP: if you’re serving as a main dish, plate on toasted bread to make bruschetta, with grilled chicken or shrimp, or with hard-boiled eggs or fried eggs. Check out my blog for the best hard-boiled egg recipe!
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