Toasted pepitas, dates, feta, shredded butternut squash, kale, and brussels are all tossed together in this shaved brussels sprout salad with a sweet and tangy champagne vinaigrette. Why hello fall, you look SO good!
POP KITCHEN DOES THANKSGIVING
I love my family but they are staunch Thanksgiving traditionalists. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, cheesy potato casserole, crescent rolls, green bean casserole, salt and pepper roasted turkey…same old, same old. And I put up with it. Because, like I said, I love them. But every year I dream about how I would do Thanksgiving if I were calling the shots (or if I didn’t love my family members). But guess what? This year, I have a little food blog where I call the shots! The next six weeks I am going to be dishing out my Thanksgiving dream menu to 1. appease my own creative ache and 2. give ideas to people out there who like to get a little adventurous around the holidays. This shaved brussels sprout salad is the first course.
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SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD IS 95% RAW/100% LIT
Three reasons I love a good shaved brussels sprout salad:
- They stay super crunchy for hours. You can make it ahead without worrying about wilting the salad.
- All the little nooks and crannies of a brussels sprout absorbs all the salad flavors (i.e. cheese, vinaigrette, etc).
- It’s healthy AF.
This shaved brussels sprout salad is unique from any I’ve ever heard of because it is tossed with shredded, raw butternut squash. I know, it’s not usually how we eat squash. You may even be tempted to google whether it’s safe to eat raw squash. But if you’re willing to take this adventure with me, I can assure you that not only is squash safe to be eaten raw, it’s pretty dang tasty. Think of a carrot meeting a sweet potato. All these raw veggies: brussels, squash, and kale may make you think this salad is too boring for words, but just wait until you meet this salad’s accessories.
What makes this shaved brussels sprout salad so exceptional are the salad toppings. Sliced dates add the perfect sweetness, toasted pumpkin seeds that crunch, and crumbled feta brings that salty creaminess that makes this salad POP.
All the autumn vegetables + a little bit of indulgence is what a Thanksgiving feast is all about.
I am not sure if it’s because champagne vinegar just sounds fancy or if it is the reality that it makes the most light and fresh vinaigrettes that draws me to it. It may be that those super dry and light wines create the perfect light sweet and tangy balance. Champagne vinegar can be hard to find so you can absolutely substitute white wine vinegar. You can also order it here if you are a super planner not like me.
This recipe is one I used for my final exam in culinary arts school. Which was basically like that show “Chopped”. But really. We showed up to the kitchen expecting to be told what featured ingredients we were to use. We went in totally blind. Then we were expected to create three courses out of the secret ingredients in less than two hours time. You were graded on everything from proper cooking methods to presentation. It was tough. I made a salad with this champagne vinaigrette. My chef told me, “hold on to that vinaigrette recipe”. And so I did. And now I’m sharing it with you.
The dressing is a nice balance of tang from the vinegar and lemon juice blended together with honey, dijon, shallots, fresh tarragon and extra virgin olive oil. It goes so well with this shaved brussels sprout salad and is so simple to make. It’s actually kinda silly.
So whether you’re looking to get a little adventurous this Thanksgiving, or just want a hearty salad for dinner, look no further. POP KITCHEN has your back.
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- 5 cups shaved brussels sprouts (read instructions on how to shave them)
- 2 cups shredded butternut squash
- 3 cups kale, rolled up and thinly sliced (about 2 large leaves)
- ¾ cup dates, thinly sliced
- ½ cup pepitas (aka green pumpkin seeds)
- Sea salt
- 1 cup feta
- 3 Tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp shallots, (about one large) finely minced
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh tarragon, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- SHREDDING THE BRUSSELS: Wash your brussels sprouts and remove any less than presentable leaves. There are 3 ways to shred brussels sprouts. First, you can use a knife like I did. Standing the sprout up on it's stem, thinly slice the sprout as best you can lengthwise until you get about halfway through. You want your fingers on top of the sprout and slightly folded under, not pinching around the sides. At this point it's basically impossible to continue without cutting a finger. Place the sprout down on it's flat side and continue to thinly slice. Every piece won't be a nice cross section of a sprout, but that's ok! The second way is to use a mandolin (with the saftey) to thinly sliced. The last way is to use the slicing attachment to a food processor. This is the fastest (and safest) way and may be a great way to shred your butternut to if you are not up to using that elbow grease.
- TOAST PEPITAS: In a small sauté pan, over medium low heat, add your pumpkin seeds and begin to toast. I don't find pumpkin seeds burn as easily as nuts but still keep a close eye on them, shaking them around every 3 minutes. Toast until lightly golden and starting to sweat, about 6-10 minutes. Add a pinch of sea salt and place on a plate to cool.
- CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE: In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the champagne vinegar, lemon juice, honey, shallots, tarragon, dijon, and sea salt until evenly combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil while you whisk the mixture. Taste to see if you need more salt or sweetness. You can also put everything in a mason jar and shake vigorously, my favorite vinaigrette method. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
- TOSS: Toss the kale, shredded butternut squash, shaved brussels, dates, cooled pepitas and feta together with all of the vinaigrette. You can do this up to five hours before serving, keeping it covered in the fridge. This also eats well the next day.