A sensational salad made from Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, two vegetables once considered boring and unglamorous.
Brussels sprouts have made an amazing transformation. These little winter cabbages have gone from being one of the most reviled vegetables a decade or so ago to being trendy and gourmet today. Their rise in popularity over the past few years can be partially attributed to restaurant chefs who began roasting, sautéing, and grilling Brussels sprouts in various creative ways. Home cooks followed suit and soon Brussels sprouts were everywhere – on TV, in cooking magazines, and in new, flashier packaging at grocery stores. Brussels sprouts have traditionally been thought of as a cooking vegetable but we’re now seeing them used raw, in salads so I jumped on the bandwagon and created Shaved Brussels Sprouts Over Crispy Cauliflower Cakes. This salad is so delicious!
This is a substantial salad, mainly because of the cauliflower cakes. The technique for making the cauliflower cakes is a little quirky but if you’ve ever made a cauliflower pizza crust you’ll be familiar with how it’s done. There’s nothing difficult about it, however, it does take a little elbow grease to extract all the water from the cauliflower and this is an important step because the cakes will not be crispy unless most of the water is squeezed out. If you’re short on time you can skip making the cauliflower cakes – this would still be a phenomenal salad – but the cakes pair so well with the shaved Brussels sprouts and really make this a special salad so make them if you can.
My first attempt at Shaved Brussels Sprouts Over Crispy Cauliflower Cakes ended badly because the Brussels sprouts were not shaved thin enough and resulted in greens that were tough to chew. The success of this recipe depends on slicing the Brussels sprouts as thin as possible, preferably around 1 mm. The best way to do this is in a food processor using the slicing blade set on one of the thinnest settings. If you don’t have a food processor you can also use a mandoline (also known as an adjustable blade slicer), just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions. I know more than one person who has cut their fingers using these gadgets.
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Over Crispy Cauliflower Cakes is sensational salad made from two vegetables once considered boring and unglamorous. Eating your veggies may never be easier or more delicious than this!
- 2 - 1 pound bags of frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, tough stem ends trimmed
- ½ pound applewood smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
- 2½ ounces (heaping ½ cup) walnut halves, toasted
- ¼ cup capers, drained
- ¼ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the cauliflower, along with 2 Tablespoons of water, in a ceramic or glass casserole dish and cook in the microwave, on high, for 17 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a potato masher (or the tines of a fork) mash and break apart the cauliflower until only small pieces remain.
- Once the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, place it on a clean dish towel or piece of cheese cloth and twist it tightly into a ball to wring out all the water. Transfer to a large bowl and add the bread crumbs, Parmesan, eggs, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper. Mix well and form into 6 patties (about ½ inch thick).
- Bake on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Shred the Brussels sprouts in a food processor using the slicing blade on one of the thinnest settings (I used 1 mm). Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the bacon, capers, and walnuts. Re whisk the dressing and pour over the salad. Toss to combine all the ingredients.
- Place the cauliflower cakes (bottom, crispy side up) on a plate and pile on the salad.
- Serve with shaved Parmesan cheese.
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