I love salads. And I love vegetables. So naturally, this salad is perfect for me! What’s so great about it (besides everything!) is that if you tend to eat a lot of salads this is a great option for something a bit unconventional to break up the monotony of lettuce or spinach salads.
Another great thing about this salad is that you can really change it up to suit your taste buds or dietary needs/restrictions. You treat the shaved brussel sprouts like any other salad base so you can add just about anything to it and it tastes great! And, obviously it is a very healthy base, too!
Here’s how I make mine:
I buy a bag of the brussel sprouts already shaved from Safeway (Trader Joes by me no longer carries it). For this exact recipe I used two because it was serving 10 adults.
(2) bags of shaved brussel sprouts
(1) Shallot sliced thin and separated
(1) Container of pancetta
(1/3 cup) Manchego cheese roughly chopped
Juice of half lemon
(4) Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
After the pancetta is crispy (just a couple of minutes), be sure to drain it on paper-towel to absorb all of the unnecessary grease. I pat it down pretty well to get as much of it as I can. I like it crispy but not greasy.
After the pancetta is done, keep the pan as it is (don’t clean it out) and throw the sliced shallots in there on medium heat until they are translucent and have a slight golden to them.
The shallots do not need to be drained on paper-towel really, but you definitely can if you feel they are holding onto any unnecessary grease.
Add the fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to a bowl or measuring cup and whip up with a whisk until it is a creamy vinaigrette as pictured below. I don’t normally like salad dressing on salads so in my opinion, this was more than enough – however, you can add more or less depending on your preference. This amount is definitely a pretty light coating. It should yield about 1/4 cup.
(not pictured) Chop up about 1/3 cup Machego cheese. This is my favorite cheese. ever. So in my opinion, the salad cannot have enough of it! If you haven’t had it, Manchego cheese is a Spanish cheese that has a really great nutty flavor to it. It is pretty divine, especially when compared to the crispness of the brussel sprouts and the saltiness of the pancetta. I LOVE it.
Layer all of the ingredients into the bowl; brussel sprouts with dressing & tossed, then the cheese, pancetta, than shallots. I don’t toss it all together because it looks prettier this way, ant it also allows you to scoop up the toppings as you want them – should someone prefer not to have one of the ingredients it is easier to avoid this way. Also, I like the toppings to not have dressing on them since they each have their own distinct flavor.
I seriously love this salad. I love it when it is freshly made because the components are still warm and combined with the cold brussel sprouts it is a delicious combination. However, I will definitely snack on the refrigerated left-overs any chance I get!