Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts is fresh, crunchy shaved brussels sprouts tossed with julienned Granny Smith apple, shaved fennel, golden raisins, and crumbled bacon in a creamy maple dressing.  It’s topped with toasted hazelnuts for the most satisfying fall salad ever!

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It’s Mystery Dish time!  If you’re not familiar with Mystery Dish, it’s a group of bloggers that are given a list of ingredients each month, where a dish must be created using at least 3 of those ingredients. I hosted this month, which meant I got to pick the ingredients.  Fall is my favorite season of the year, so it was a bit hard for me to narrow down which ingredients to choose!  Ultimately, I decided on the ingredients below:

pork
fennel
kabocha squash
hard apple cider
heavy cream
orange
farro
hazelnuts
quince
thyme
maple syrup
brussels sprouts

The ingredients in bold are the ones that I’ve incorporated into this brussels sprout salad, so I ended up using 5.  I’ve made my share of pork in hard apple cider this month, but ultimately went with this shaved brussels sprout salad, because this my friends, was one of the tastiest salads I’ve ever made.  And we all know that brussels sprouts with bacon is one of the best combinations ever! 🙂

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I realize that there are some big brussels sprout haters out there, but maybe, just maybe, it’s because you have only eaten them steamed?  They have a very strong smell this way, for starters, and while I loved them like that when I was a kid, I realize I was not the norm.  Roasting is one of the best ways to take that strong scent and flavor out of the sprouts and give them a caramelized sweetness, but shaving them and eating them raw is my favorite way to eat them.  Think of it as a slaw, with a much milder cabbage flavor.  And I love myself some slaw. 🙂

I’m going to get into this salad by first saying that you need to allot a bit of time to prep and shave the brussels sprouts.  It took me about 15 minutes, but this is a labor of love.  If this salad wasn’t worth the bit of effort, I wouldn’t even post it.  It’s worth every. single. second.  You’ll be happy to know, too, that this salad held up fully dressed in the fridge for 3 days.  I can’t tell you what would happen after that because it wasn’t around that long. 😉

So, to prep the sprouts, you just need to remove the tough, dark green outer leaves and cut off a bit of the bottom stem.  We only want the beautiful light green leaves.  I washed them and blotted them, then halved them.  This is when you start shaving them, just cutting them as thinly as you can.  The thickness of mine varied but I liked it that way — some were very thin and tender and some were thicker with more of a crunchy bite.  Fresh & crunchy is where it’s at for me.

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This brings me to fennel now…do you like it?  Basically, fennel tastes like anise, or black licorice, which I actually don’t care for.  Here’s the thing, however — if fennel is shaved very thinly it has a barely there flavor that adds just a little something different, and the green tops or fronds taste delicious in your salads too!  I’m a huge lover of fennel now roasted or shaved thinly — you gotta taste it yourself to believe. 🙂

I really, really hope that if you’ve never liked brussels sprouts before that this salad will give you the inspiration to try them.  The ingredients in this salad are just magical together, and I’m willing to bet it will get you to like brussels sprouts…just like magic.  This salad might just get you to change the way you think about brussels sprouts forever.  It’s just that good. 🙂

Please visit the rest of the Mystery Dish group’s posts using this month’s ingredients!

Baked Apple Donuts with Maple Glaze by Yummy Healthy Easy

Baked French Toast Casserole by I Want Crazy

Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Truffles by Culinary Couture

Hazelnut Maple-Glazed Cinnamon Rolls by I Dig Pinterest

Hazelnut Macarons with Pumpkin Maple Filling by Baking a Moment

Honey-Thyme Roasted Pork Tenderloin from The Pajama Chef

Italian Sausage and Ravioli Skillet by Simply Gloria

Kabocha Squash Curry with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Farro by Chez CateyLou

Maple Glazed Fennel and Brussels Sprouts by The Well Floured Kitchen

Pear Hazelnut Bread with Orange Maple Glaze by Blahnik Baker

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Harvest Salad with a Hard Apple Cider Vinaigrette by Joyful Healthy Eats

{Vegan} Orange Hazelnut Maple Cinnamon Rolls by Sweet Tooth Life

 

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Hazelnuts is a fresh, crunchy salad tossed in a creamy maple dressing. It's fall's finest!
Serves: Serves about 6
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium head fennel
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and julienned
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped thinly on the bias
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup toasted, chopped hazelnuts, for serving
For the creamy maple dressing:
  • ½ cup Vegenaise
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
Prepare the salad:
  1. Remove the tough dark green outer leaves and the bottom stem from the brussels sprouts and wash thoroughly. Blot dry and halve the sprouts, and shave as thinly as possible. Place them into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the green top off of the fennel, reserving some of the fronds for the salad as a garnish, if desired. Remove the tough outer portion of the fennel, which will leave you with a small bulb. Halve the bulb, then quarter it, and shave thinly down to the root. Discard the root and place in the bowl with the brussels sprouts. Add the apple and lemon juice, and toss to coat. This will keep the brussels sprouts and apple from turning brown.
  3. Add the bacon, green onions, and golden raisins to the bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the dressing:
  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine, adding enough salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Drizzle half of the dressing over the salad and toss gently, adding more if needed. Serve the salad garnished with the toasted hazelnuts and fennel fronds, if using. Enjoy!
Notes
Total time above does not include toasting the hazelnuts as I purchased mine pre-toasted from Trader Joe's. To toast your own hazelnuts, place the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Place the warm nuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove some of the skins.

Mayonnaise may be substituted for the Vegenaise.

Honey or agave syrup may be substituted for the maple syrup.

Store left over salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Recipe by Flavor the Moments.