We’re making good use of winter greens at the moment. The star of this deliciously crunchy salad is the unassuming, often unfairly maligned Brussels Sprout. Finely shredded coleslaw style this nutty little cabbage is very much in disguise, tempting even the most avid sprout naysayer. I know. I have placed huge bowls of this attractive salad on the table and watched it disappear before revealing the mainstay of the dish.
It definitely helps that I can rattle off a whole host of interesting components when asked about the salad. There’s plenty to talk about; the tumble of new season fennel, apple and wild rocket, a tangy mustard and white balsamic vinaigrette and generous garnish of toasted walnuts, crumbled crispy bacon and coarsely grated parmesan cheese. By the time the penny drops that these ingredients are merely the supporting act, the plates are almost cleared. It’s most satisfying to watch even the most die-hard Brussels sprouts detractors go back for seconds once they know the identity of the key ingredient.
At the end of the day this is one of those recipes where the result is most definitely greater than the sum of its individual parts. The ingredients combine into an incredibly delicious salad that makes the most of winter produce and is very, very good for you. Best of all with an energy count of just 185 calories per cup serve it effortlessly fits the brief for a 5-2 fast day meal.
Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad With Fennel, Apple, Rocket and Bacon
Makes 10 cups (185 calories per cup serve)
For The Salad
36 small (500g) Brussels sprouts, trimmed (215 calories)
1 medium granny smith apple; peeled, cored and sliced into eighths (72 calories)
1 medium fennel bulb; peeled, cored and sliced into eighths (73 calories)
3/4 cup wild rocket, roughly chopped (4 calories)
6 short cut rashers bacon (276 calories)
1 lemon; juiced and strained, zest finely grated (12 calories)
1/2 cup parmesan ( I used grana padano), coarsely grated (216 calories)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped (255 calories)
For The Dressing
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (636 calories)
1/4 cup white balsamic (80 calories)
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard (6 calories)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
PLACE bacon rashers on a baking paper lined oven tray. Bake in a hot 180 C for 15 -20 minutes until crisp and golden. Allow to cool before crumbling into shards.
MEANWHILE finely shred Brussels sprouts, apples and fennel with a mandolin or in a food processor with slicer blade attachment. Add to a large bowl and toss together with rocket, lemon zest and juice.
PLACE the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard In a small jar with a good pinch of sea salt & grinding of pepper. Shake well to emulsify.
ADD dressing to the salad with three quarters of the crumbled bacon, grated parmesan and toasted walnuts. Toss gently to combine. Season to taste.
TO SERVE transfer salad to a large serving platter and scatter over remaining bacon, parmesan and walnuts.