Brussels Sprout Salad

Brussels Sprout Salad

This lemony crunchy salad marries the umami- avoured satisfaction of Caesar salad and pesto (garlic, parmesan, lemon juice) with the nutritional bene ts of our star cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts and kale), and the highest omega-3 nut around (toasted walnuts). An excellent side dish or feature salad when topped with salmon or chicken, it is sure to satisfy and – surprisingly – delight even the biggest Brussels skeptic.

If Brussels sprouts conjure up less than appealing olfactory memories, you may have been tainted by a common culinary practice of times past. In my own lifetime, many well-meaning parents or loved ones overcooked these sulfur containing cruciferous vegetables and thus reinforced the much maligned smelly stereotype only grudgingly invited to the table on rare holiday occasions. This recipe brings the fresh raw crunchy sprout into the light to feature it as the tasty, hearty nutritional powerhouse that it truly is.

It’s interesting to note that Brussels sprouts boast even more nutritional potency than broccoli, kale and cabbage. These densely layered globes of green are packed full of the compounds called glucosinolates. While these compounds can give o a sulfurous odour (when overcooked), the silver lining here is actually gold for our reproductive and pre- conception health. Indole-3-carbinol is one of the many well- researched glucosinolate derivatives you may have heard of. These compounds clear xenoestrogens (helping with hormone balance), and activate cancer- ghting enzymes in the body, particularly those that prevent breast and ovarian cancer. Lastly they support phase two of liver detoxi cation—a fundamental way we eliminate toxins from the body, and also incredibly important for optimal fertility.


DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp grainy or Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 dash tabasco, optional


SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch kale (lacinato or dinosaur is most tender)
1 cup (about 250 grams) Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese


Instructions

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and a pinch of pepper in small bowl. Stir to blend and set aside.
  2. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Chop into small pieces.
  3. De-stem kale, wash, dry and thinly slice.
  4. Cut Brussels sprouts in half, trim off base and discard blemished outer leaves. Wash and chop/shred in food processor (very quick!), or cut into slivers with a sharp knife.
  5. Place vegetables in a large bowl.
  6. Add enough dressing to cover vegetables, toss to coat and add cheese, tossing again.
  7. Just before serving, stir in walnuts, reserving some for garnish.

Makes about 6 cups, and can be easily doubled for leftovers/lunch the next day. The walnuts are best if toasted fresh before serving, but the rest holds up very well.


As published in EcoParent Magazine:

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