There’s a certain quietude that happens when I’m cooking. Sam doesn’t cook, so it’s a solitary activity. For most people, putting dinner on the table is a chore, but for me, it’s the first thing I want to do when I come home from work. I look at an empty refrigerator and see possibilities, which is why I started this blog. I wanted to share my kooky kitchen experiments and my deep (so very deep) love for cooking. To explain just how much I love cooking, I dream about it. I remember late nights kneading bread with reverence. I have even set an alarm at 5:00 in the morning to preheat the oven for a full hour before baking. Food is not just my hobby–it’s a real passion.
Inspiration comes in many forms but mostly from failures. I had made a dry brussel sprout salad many times before, and I couldn’t live with myself until I found a recipe that was just right. So when I came upon an Instagram post where someone was eating a shaved brussel sprout salad with apples in it, a light went on in my head. I threw together this salad with toasted pine nuts (a back of the pantry find that day) and some crunchy apples and my favorite vinaigrette that I use every day. It was perfect. Exactly the salad I had been trying to make for months.
Let’s get started on this recipe!
You can buy preshredded brussel sprouts or you can shred them yourself. I used the shredder attachment on my food processor to make this. To do this trim the ends off the sprouts, then start your food processor on low with the lid on. While it’s running, add a couple brussel sprouts at a time to the vent hole, using the stopper to push them through. Do this with all the sprouts until they’re shredded.
I used fuji apples because those are my favorite red apples. Cube them into small bite sized cubes, leaving the skin on. Then in a bowl, toss them with lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Then toast your pine nuts in a nonstick pan over medium high heat or until nice and browned, about three to five minutes.
My vinaigrette is simple. I use three tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and two teaspoons of dijon with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together in a small bowl with a fork.
Toss the sprouts, pine nuts and apples together in a salad bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss it to coat.
It’s a simple and delicious salad, but the crisp sweet apples paired with the sprouts is perfectly balanced.
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- 2 fuji apples
- 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
- Trim the ends off the brussel sprouts. Using a slicer attachment in your food processer, run the food processor on low. Using the vent hole, add the brussels two at a time and use the vent cover attachment to press the sprouts down into the slicer. Repeat with all the sprouts until they're all shredded. Add to a large salad bowl.
- Cut your apples into ½ inch cubes. Squeeze half the lemon over the apples so they don't brown, and toss to coat.
- In a nonstick pan over medium high heat, add the pine nuts and toast for about 3 minutes, turning occasionally until browned and aromatic.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and salt. Add the remaining juice of the other lemon half. Whisk together.
- Toss the sprouts, apples and pine nuts together and pour over the dressing. Toss to coat.