Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Salad

Hi everyone!  This is a late one for me.  I usually try to get my blogs out earlier in the day, but I finally got my roots fixed today…..so my hair took precedence.  I am being interviewed for Northern Nevada Business Weekly next week, so I figured it was high time I get my hair looking decent.  I don’t want to look like Shakira in my pictures.  No offense to Shakira.  She can rock 3 inch long roots….I, however, cannot.

Do you all have your holiday menus planned?  I have a great addition for your menu…..Today I am going to show you how to make a really yummy “holiday” salad.  It is a fantastic salad that tastes great, and it is really pretty too!  It has bright red pomegranate seeds and pretty green brussel sprouts.  It also has bacon, goat cheese, candied walnuts and pomegranate vinaigrette.   Please don’t stop reading because I said “brussel sprouts”. 

I used to hate brussel sprouts.  And by hate, I mean I would rather have eaten a hobo’s toes then brussel sprouts.  I hadn’t eaten one in easily 30 years, but I tried one this last Thanksgiving.  I decided to be brave.  I wanted to see if my tastes had changed.  I loved them.  This turned my world upside down.  I spent 30 years missing out on the deliciousness that is brussel sprouts.  It’s like I don’t know who I am anymore;)

So let’s start this salad.  Maybe it will get you to try brussel sprouts too…..if you think you don’t like them.

I start by cooking a few slices of bacon in the oven.  I put the bacon on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.  This is way less messy then cooking bacon on the stovetop.  You really only need about 4 slices, but I always cook extra because I know my family will descend on me like vultures.

While the bacon cooks, I get the sprouts ready.  I bought mine already trimmed and ready to go.  You might need to trim off any yellow leaves or icky spots.

I quartered mine to make them easier to eat in a salad.

I cook my sprouts on the same pan that caught all of the bacon grease.  I removed the rack, and I put the bacon aside to cool.  I smeared the sprouts all around in all of that delicious bacon grease.  I also salted and peppered them.  I roasted the sprouts at 375 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.

They come out looking like the picture above.  They will be browned and roasty toasty. 

Onto the dressing…..

I make a pomegranate vinaigrette for this salad.  Like Bobby Flay, I also believe that pomegranates pair well with brussel sprouts.  I use pomegranate juice, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

I want my pomegranate juice to be kind of thick and syrupy.  I achieve this by boiling the juice for about 5 minutes.  I boiled ½ cup down to ¼ a cup.  I let it cool before I make the dressing…..

I whisk all the ingredients together.

Once the sprouts and bacon have cooled, I assemble the salad.  I used fancy lettuce that I bought at Trader Joe’s.  It has romaine, butter lettuce, radicchio and some other fancy lettuces.  You can use whatever you like.   I think the more substantial lettuces work better.

Besides the sprouts, lettuce, and dressing, I also top my salad with crumbled goat cheese, the bacon that I cooked before, candied walnuts and pomegranate seeds.  I found my pomegranate seeds in a cute little package already shelled.  Shelled?  Is that the right term?  What I mean is that I didn’t have to crack open a pomegranate.  “Pom” did it for me.

Don’t you think this salad is perfect for the holidays?  It is so pretty, and it is different than a typical green salad.  It has roasted brussel sprouts on it for crying out loud!  I totally think you should try this recipe.  Even if you hate the sprouts….try the dressing.  It is pretty much amazing.

Brussel Sprout Holiday Salad

4 slices bacon, cooked and drippings reserved

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

2 cups assorted lettuces

½ cup goat cheese crumbles

¼ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup candied walnuts


½ cup pomegranate juice

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

½ cup olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay bacon strips on a wire rack over a baking sheet.  Cook bacon at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned and crisp.  Remove bacon and wire rack.  Set bacon aside to cool.  Reserve bacon drippings in baking sheet.

Place quartered brussel sprouts on baking sheet with reserved bacon drippings.  Coat sprouts in drippings.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

For dressing:

Place pomegranate juice in a small pot.  Bring to a boil on stove top.  Boil for about five minutes, or until juice has reduced by half.  Let cool.

Whisk reduced juice and remaining dressing ingredients together.

To assemble salad:

Layer sprouts over lettuce.  Top with dressing and remaining ingredients.

No comments:

Post a Comment