Friday, January 13, 2012

Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

I love salads and eat them all year long.  Occasionally I get tired of the "bag of salad" routine from the grocery store and need some variety.  This salad is a great, crunchy alternative that's really easy to make and provides you with tons of antioxidants.  Even people who don't like straight-up brussels sprouts or broccoli like this because they're blended in and it tastes like salad.  Plus, it's really pretty.

The dressing is a deliciously light and tangy lemon Dijon vinaigrette rather than a heavy mayonnaise-based version.  The toasted almonds provide nuttiness and the dried pineapple or raisins provide a sweet fruity note. (Dried pineapple is a recent discovery for me that I love in salads or in rice dishes that accompany jerk meat or other spicy food.  It has an intense fruity pineapple flavor without being too sweet or adding liquid to the dish.)

This salad makes a nice light vegetarian lunch or dinner, and it's also a great side salad to serve with any roasted or grilled meat (think about it with grilled ribs).  It's a great choice for your next potluck because it holds well, there are no worries about mayo spoilage, and it's different.  People will be intrigued.

As if that wasn't enough, add a grilled sliced chicken breast to the top of the salad and you've got a main dish entree that's still light and incredibly healthy. 

I typically chop stuff by hand mainly because I like chopping, but this time I hauled out the food processor and tried the slicing disk for the cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli.  Worked like a charm.

Mounds of perfectly sliced veggies!  As you can see this makes a big bowl of salad, perfect for a group.

I know there are people out there (certainly my friend Michelle is one of them) that think this sounds way too healthy for them to try.  But hey, it's a new year and we all need to eat healthy.  As my mom used to say,  "Just try it - it might be your new favorite food".   Never worked on us kids but doesn't hurt to give it a shot, right?

* * click here for a printable recipe version * *

Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussels Sprout Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Makes about 8 cups

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons white or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fine lemon zest
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 lb Napa or Savoy cabbage (about ½ small head)
1 lb broccoli (about 2 small crowns)
½ lb brussels sprouts (about 12 small), ends trimmed and any brown outer leaves removed
8 medium radishes, ends trimmed
6 green onions, white and green parts thin sliced
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup chopped dried pineapple or raisins

For the dressing, combine the first six ingredients (olive oil through salt and pepper) in a jar and shake. Set aside.

For the salad, thinly slide the cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts by hand or in a food processor using the slicing disk. Add to a large bowl. Thinly slice the radishes by hand and set aside (do not add to the bowl).

Add the dressing to the bowl and toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the radishes, pineapple (or raisins), and toasted almonds on top to serve.

Variation: Add sliced chicken, pork or other meat to the salad for a main dish entrée.

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