I've mentioned in the past (and I'm sure you know this anyways) that it's difficult to come up with interesting winter salads. In the summertime, it's so easy to stroll through the farmers' market grabbing various ripe, tasty veggies, but in the winter, one needs to be a little more creative to come up with something as flavorful. It also doesn't hurt if you can work a splash of color into a winter salad.
When I made that hearty lamb shank dish I shared the other day, I knew I wanted to pair it with something light and fresh, and a brussels sprout salad came to mind. I searched for some recipes, landed on one from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef that featured a Dijon-based dressing, and adapted the recipe to suit my tastes.
I started by thinly shaving the brussels sprouts using the slicing blade on my food processor. Just before serving the salad, I tossed the sprouts with some thinly sliced shallots and the dressing, and then I topped them with segments of Cara Cara oranges and goat cheese. (I go nuts for Cara Cara oranges in the wintertime. They have a gorgeous pink color.) The bright citrus paired with the crunchy sprouts, vibrant dressing, and creamy goat cheese made for an amazing winter salad -- one that I'll be making over and over again with different tweaks.
Brussels Sprout Salad (adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef)
24 brussels sprouts
1 thinly sliced shallot
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and pepper
2 Cara Cara oranges, sectioned
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Core the brussels sprouts (I usually make a v-shaped cut in the bottom) and then shred them using a food processor fitted with a slicing blade.
Combine shredded sprouts with shallot in large bowl.
Whisk together apple cider vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper in small bowl or measuring cup.
Toss the brussels sprouts and shallot with the vinaigrette. Transfer to a serving dish.
Top the brussels sprout mixture with the orange segments and goat cheese. Serve.
I think this salad would also be wonderful with toasted pecans or walnuts and pomegranate seeds, grapes, or cherries. You could try different cheeses as well, though I'm partial to the creamy texture of the goat cheese to complement the crisp texture of the raw brussels sprouts.
What sorts of salads do you make during the winter?