Disclosure: Today’s post for Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette is sponsored by The National Pork Board. All recipes, photos, and opinions remain -as always- my own.
It’s Brussels sprouts season and all the people say hooray! Well, okay, at least the Brussels sprouts fans around the world say hooray. And of us there are many. Everyone knows Brussels sprouts are awesome roasted and stir-fried, but did you know they’re also incredible shaved in a slaw type salad? Specifically, they’re amazing in a crisp tender shaved slaw with tart, sweet dried cranberries, smoky, crisp bacon, and a warm bacon vinaigrette.
Cranberry Brussels Salad is amazing right after it’s made when it’s still slightly warm, but it’s equally wonderful after being stashed in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Lately, I’ve been making double batches of the shaved Brussels salad with bacon vinaigrette so my guys and I can eat off of it for a couple of days. It sings alongside roast turkey, ham, and beef, but it also makes an excellent light lunch all by itself.
With its festive green and red colours, you’re going to want to have this quick and easy side dish on your Thanksgiving table this year. Maybe your Christmas table, too!
- You have to use fresh Brussels sprouts for this recipe. There’s no getting around it. Frozen sprouts just won’t do the job.
- When it comes to slicing the Brussels sprouts, I highly recommend using my favourite food processor (THIS ONE). You’ll never find another food processor that slices ANYTHING as thinly as this without the slices falling apart. It’s beyond impressive.
- Likewise, please use real pork bacon here. Turkey bacon simply will not work. It doesn’t have the right taste, texture, or fat for the job. My preference is for thick cut bacon in our Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette.
- Speaking of vinaigrette, I prefer apple cider vinegar. I like Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar the best, but any good cider vinegar will do. If you don’t have that handy, you can sub in white wine vinegar.
- A word about sugar: I’m going crazy for using coconut sugar these days, but brown sugar or raw sugar will be a perfectly fine sugar to use.
Prep Tips (use these to make Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette easily)
Just in case you’re worried that this is difficult, I have a video to show you how very simple it is to make Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette. Check it out!
Cranberry Brussels Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
- 2 pounds fresh, raw Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 bunch green onions, root ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a half sheet pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon on the foil. Bake for 12-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the bacon and the crispiness you desire. Immediately transfer the crisped bacon to a paper towel lined plate and then carefully use the foil to pour 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat into a measuring cup. Set the bacon drippings aside. Chop the bacon and set aside.
Fit a food processor with a thin slicing blade. Drop the Brussels sprouts into the feed chute, shaving all of the sprouts. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt over the sprouts and toss with your hands. Scatter the dried cranberries, thinly sliced green onions, and chopped bacon over the shaved sprouts and set aside.
Add the bacon fat, apple cider vinegar, raw sugar, water, remaining salt, and pepper to a stainless steel or other non-reactive saucepan, placed over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, whisk to combine, then immediately pour over the contents of the mixing bowl. Toss to coat. This can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.