I realize that my last post also included brussels sprouts, but once I get on a sprout kick, I really just have to let it run its course. You see, I became obsessed with brussels sprouts about six months ago and haven’t looked back. It’s one of my go-to vegetables now, and I’m still having fun discovering new ways to use it. Today’s recipe – an autumnal brussels sprout slaw with pear, gorgonzola and pecans – was inspired by a recipe at one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago, the tapas bar Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. I love absolutely everything on their menu, but their brussels sprout salad is at the top of my list. It was the first time I had raw shaved brussels sprouts, opening my eyes to a whole new way of eating the vegetable.
It’s been quite a chilly summer here in Chicago. Some people love the mild weather, while others (I’m in this camp) feel that we’ve been gypped out of the one good season in this city. While my favorite season is autumn, Chicago’s autumn is about 1 month long before winter strikes.
I suppose I can’t complain if this chilly weather means I get to start eating my favorite fall foods earlier. I view pear + gorgonzola + pecan as a very autumnal combination, especially when topped with a maple vinaigrette. But the crunch of the fresh brussels sprouts lightens everything up, so I consider this to be an “early autumn” dish. Perhaps you can make it for a barbecue for Labor Day Weekend, that holiday that seems to mark the end of summer and the beginning of fall.
I think by this point, everyone knows how delicious the pear + gorgonzola + pecan combination can be in a salad. But I’m of the opinion that it’s even more delicious with this crunchy, fresh brussels sprout slaw with its tangy and sweet vinaigrette. I couldn’t stop nibbling on this as I was photographing it, and can’t wait to bring it to potlucks in the future. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
- For the salad:
- 3 cups shaved brussels sprouts
- 1 pear, chopped into bite-size pieces
- ¾ cup toasted pecans
- ½ cup gorgonzola crumbles
- For the dressing:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk dressing ingredients together in a separate bowl, and add to salad.
- Toss well, making sure that ingredients are coated evenly with the dressing. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
As I mentioned last time, I buy already-shaved brussels sprouts from Trader Joes. If you can’t find these, simply chop up whole sprouts, making sure to remove the ends and any of the harder bits of the core.