This bright shaved brussels sprouts salad recipe is the perfect combination of texture and flavor! Hearty brussels sprouts, combined with peppery arugula, crunchy bell peppers, sweet apples, and thinly sliced shallots! Walnuts and bits of dried fruit add a festive touch, and a simple honey-citrus dressing brings it all together.
Keep this salad vegan if you need to, but a little creamy feta cheese is just the perfect salty finish. Be sure to grab all my tips, make-ahead options and more below!
Nothing against lettuce, but I think brussels sprouts give it a nice healthy competition as far as a hearty base for a beautiful salad like this one.
This gorgeous brussel sprouts salad has tons of layers of texture and flavor. The perfect combination of leafy, sweet, nutty, and just enough salty!
Shaved brussels sprouts, combined with peppery arugula, crunchy bell peppers and sweet apples and dried fruit. Walnuts for a nutty touch, and salty, creamy feta to round out the flavor. A simple honey-citrus dressing brings it all together!
I will not make the claim that this salad is a Mediterranean inspiration, but it sure carries tons of bright Mediterranean flavors and follows the Mediterranean diet to the letter.
It is simple to make, with some do-ahead parts too! So let me tell you more about it...
What's in this fall Shaved brussels sprouts Salad?
I like to break this salad into four simple components:
1. Salad Base: Burssels sprouts & Arugula
Obviously brussels sprouts are the star ingredient here, and for this reason, I like to start with fresh, whole brussels sprouts and I don't mind doing my own slicing or shredding. Pick good brussels sprouts that are bright green in color and feel firm and tightly packed.
It's always a good idea to remove outer leaves that don't look the best. Then, trim and rinse the brussels sprouts before slicing. More on how to shred brussels sprouts for this salad below.
Some people use kale or spinach to support brussels sprouts in a salad like this. Those are two okay options, but I much prefer using a large handful of baby arugula, adding that exciting peppery flavor!
2. More Fresh Ingredients for Crunch and Flavor
Building on our gorgeous salad base, we add more colorful fresh ingredients for crunch and flavor. Bell peppers are a great option here, I used a red bell pepper sliced into thin sticks. I debated between red onions and shallots here, but opted for shallots as they are sweeter and less intense in flavor.
Although I used just one large Gala apple, also thinly sliced, it was plenty sweet, fresh, and crisp. If you'd like a bit of a tart finish, use Granny Smith apple instead. But do not omit the apples from this recipe though!
3. Fun Additions: Nuts, Dried Fruit, and Cheese
I call this part "fun additions" because you can really play around, adding things you really enjoy! I love walnut hearts, so that's what I chose for a nutty accent. You can also use almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts.
For dried fruit, I used a handful of cranberries and raisins. Another dried fruit such as figs or apricots will work well, just be sure to cut them up into small bits. The crumbled feta cheese is optional, but I really think you can't go wrong with a little creamy feta, adding just enough of a salty bite to balance the sweet and citrus. You can omit the feta for a vegan option or you can try something like goat cheese, if feta is too strong for your taste.
4. Bright Honey Citrus Dressing
What pulls this all together is an easy but super bright honey citrus dressing. It starts with good extra virgin olive oil; I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil.
For the citrus component, I used juice of 1 lemon and a little bit of apple cider vinegar. There is enough tang here to tame the raw brussels sprouts. And I actually use only 1 tablespoon of honey, but if you like your dressing on the sweeter side, you can add more. To me, one minced garlic clove was needed here to amp up the flavor of the dressing.
How to Shred Brussels Sprouts for This Salad?
This salad is fairly easy to make, but probably the one involved step is preparing and cutting the brussels sprouts. Whichever method you choose, begin by trimming the stem and removing any bad leaves. From here, I like to give the brussels sprouts a rinse and pat them dry very well. You do not need to remove the core of these baby cabbages.
There are three simple ways you can cut brussels sprouts for this salad:
1. Using a Food Processor
Probably the quickest option for how to shred brussels sprouts is the food processor fitted with the slicing attachment. Drop the trimmed brussels sprouts in and pulse a few times until the brussels sprouts are sliced to your liking. If needed, do this bit in batches.
2. Using a sharp knife
It does take about 15 minutes or so to cut 1 lb brussels sprouts using a knife, but it's not necessarly hard to do. Start by cutting the brussels sprouts into halves. Turn them cut-side down on your cutting board, this gives you better leverage. Then simply slice into thin shreds/slices.
3 . Using a Mandoline Food Slicer
Like with other veggies, a mandoline slicer (affiliate link) can help you get as thin slices as you need out of your brussels sprouts. But because brussels sprouts are too small, make sure to keep your fingers safe (use the guard piece that comes with your mandolin slicer or stick a fork to the root-end of the sprout and hold it from there). Position the brussel sprout against the mandolin and shave. (I don't use this method very much myself, it seemed more involved).
All this said, if you really just don't feel like shredding your own brussels sprouts, you can go ahead and buy a bag of already-shredded brussels sprouts at the store. But be sure to pick bags that look vibrant and crisp as some of these pre-packed salad options can be way past their prime.
Can I cook Shredded Brussels Sprouts for this Salad?
I've admitted before that I much prefer olive oil fried brussels sprouts steamed or raw brussels sprouts.
But this kind of salad, where the brussels sprouts are shredded and well flavored, I really enjoy. The dressing does a great job of taming that cabbag-y taste.
If you must cook the shredded brussels sprouts, simply throw them in a skillet with some warmed extra virgin olive oil. Cook on medium heat, tossing with a wooden spoon, until the shredded brussels sprouts are wilted to your liking. Add a dash of salt for flavor.
A few Last Tips for this Brussel Sprouts Salad
1. For best flavor...
If you're not in a rush to serve this salad, it's a good idea to allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving (20 minutes or so) to give the flavors a chance to meld. Brussels sprouts won't wilt easily, and they can use all the flavor from the honey citrus dressing. If you're worried about the delicate baby arugula, you can toss it in just before serving.
2. Can I prepare this shaved brussels sprouts salad in advance?
If you're short on time, you can absolutely prepare parts of this burssels sprouts in advance.
I like to work on preparing the actual brussels sprouts the night before. To do so, trim, shred and clean the brussels sprouts. Be sure to dry them very well, I use a salad spinner and I also pat them dry using some paper towels. Save them in the fridge in a separate container overnight until you are ready to assemble the salad.
And you can also make the honey-citrus dressing and save it in a tightly-closed mason jar in the fridge for the night. Give the dressing a good shake before using.
3. What about leftovers?
When I tested and photographed this salad for the blog, I ended up making a lot more than we can eat in one night. I was able to save leftovers well for 2 nights in the fridge in a tightly-closed glass container.
What to serve this festive salad with?
This is a great salad that can go with many things. I've served it for a simple meal next to some lemon chicken.
Apple strudel would be the perfect way to finish this dinner!
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Shaved brussels sprouts, combined with peppery arugula, crunchy bell peppers and sweet apples. To add a sweet, festive touch, we have dried cranberries and raisins. A handful of nutty walnuts and a sprinkle of crumbled feta are the finishing touches. A simple honey-citrus dressing brings everything together.
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 6 oz baby arugula
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into thin sticks
- 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large apple (I used Gala apple), cored, halved and thinly sliced
- Handful crumbled feta cheese
- Handful walnut hearts
- Handful raisins and/or dried cranberries
For Honey Citrus Dressing
- Prepare the honey-citrus dressing. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider, honey, garlic, salt, pepper and sumac (if using.) Set aside for now.
- Shave brussels sprouts. First, cut the stem and remove any bad leaves. Give the brussels sprouts a good rinse and dry. Now, to shave them, you can use a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment. Add the brussels sprouts and pulse until thinly sliced (you can also just use a knife to thinly slice brussels sprouts. Read the post above for more tips.)
- Rinse shredded brussels sprouts and drain very well (use a salad spinner if you need to.)
- Assemble the shaved brussels sprouts salad. Place shaved brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Add baby arugula, bell peppers, shallots, and apple slices. Give the dressing a little whisk and pour over the salad, mix to combine. Add feta cheese, walnut hearts, raisins and cranberries. Give the salad another gentle mix. Enjoy!
- Prepare Ahead Tip: you can prepare the dressing and refrigerate in a tightly-closed mason jar overnight. You can also prepare brussels sprouts, clean and shred them. Be sure to dry them very well, I use a salad spinner and I also pat them dry using some paper towels. Save them in the fridge in a separate container overnight until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- Cook's Tip for Best Flavor: Once you add the dressing, it's a good idea to let this salad rest a few minutes before serving it. This allows the flavors to meld (2o minutes or so.)
- For vegan option, omit the feta cheese.
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- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Category: Salad
- Method: Tossed
- Cuisine: Mediterranean/American
Keywords: Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad, Brussel Sprouts Salad, Raw Brussel Sprouts Salad