Garden, Plant, Cook!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

My Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad and Some "Calvary" in the Garden and More.

Dear Folks,

I first posted a version of this salad a couple of years ago and I am making it at least twice this holiday time. Once yesterday for a ladies group I belong to.

While I have enjoyed roasting brussels sprouts, seeing some versions of a raw shredded salad a couple of years ago got me creating my own version  What could be more holiday-ish than green and red!

AND this salad is so healthy you will feel quite safe getting second and third helpings.

As with a lot of salads, particularly mine, rations do not have to be exact, except with regard to the dressing oil/acid combos I make.  In this case the ratio the normal ratio of 1 part acid to 2-3 parts oil is changed to about even. I want the lime flavor to stand out a bit to offset the 'cabbage' flavor of the brussels sprouts.

Dried cranberries or red cherries are a high antioxidant addition and we all know how good nuts and seeds are for you.

I generally use avocado oil for these kinds of salads, so the good quality oil is present but the taste does not over whelm the rest of the ingredients, but olive oil would certainly work too.

I grabbed some I'itoli onions from the garden and used my limequats for the acid.  In case you are not familiar with I'itoli they are a local onion, now considered native (brought to the Southwest 400 years ago) and have a wonderful 'shallot' mild onion/garlic flavor.

The prepping of the Brussels Sprouts in the most time consuming part of this so make a large batch because the salad keeps nicely in the frig for several days.

Since I have some salad  left over (I made a double match), I will be cooking up some grains (quinoa and/or barley) this evening for dinner to mix the salad with and have a cold grain/vegetable salad.

My Brussels Sprouts Salad

Proportions of ingredients are approximate. You can add or subtract the ingredients of the salad itself but keep the dressing ratios together. You want a bit of tang from the juice.

1 pound of brussels sprouts
2 tart sweet apples like Gala or Sundowner
1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice (juice your fruit, save 1 teaspoon of juice and rind)
3 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
crushed black pepper


Fruit:  drop apples, increase the cranberries or use dried cherries
Nuts/Seeds: , substitute chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds  for almonds
Add: add some mild onion like I'itoli
Shred:  a bit of Parmesan Cheese over before tossing.

Optional Herbs: 1 tablespoon finely cut or crushed Rosemary, Thyme, or Oregano.  Add to dressing so it is distributed evenly.

        Make acidulated water: Place reserved lemon juice and rind in bowl with water - this is for the apples.
        Core apples and dice into cubes and immediately place in the lemon water while you prepare sprouts.
        Prep the brussels sprouts by removing any damaged outer leaves, split in half length wise and cut out the core/stem.
        Slice each half in fine layers, essential shredding. Place in large bowl
        Drain apples well and add. Add almonds and cranberries.
        Make dressings from juice, oil, salt and pepper. Shake well and pour over salad. Toss and fold to mix well.
        This salad keeps well for a couple of days in the frig. - if it lasts that long.

Recipe Update:

Eggplant Ketchup.

I made a version of an 18th Century "Ketchup" recipe with eggplant and it turned out so well calling it ketchup is really misleading.  It should be called a "Sauce" or "Relish" or even a type of "Pesto".  After posting the recipe (here), I made some pasta - a mix of edamame spaghetti and a great DeCicco lemon/pepper spaghetti, I tossed the cooked pasta with some of the Eggplant Sauce and it was wonderful.


Some of the Calvary

While checking out my Barbados (Acai) Cherry Tree I spotted a couple of these guys on the tree.

Assassin Bugs are wonderful helpers in the garden.  They are sometimes mistaken for leaf-foot type pests but these are "white hat" bugs, the good ones as keeping aphids and other pests under control.

I have had to use some natural sprays when I do not see an infestation right away, but I try to limit the sprays to using them rarely but you endanger the good bugs when you spray too.

Let them alone to do their thing. They are known for biting (they ARE predators) so say thank you and let them get down to business.

My Chocolate Flower (Berlandiera lyrata) is still blooming (I took this picture two weeks ago) in the morning, wafting cocoa scent as I pass it by.  Delicious aroma!!

Find my month by month calendar and books at your seller of choice.

I hope you have great fun taking the bounty of your garden into the kitchen and creating delicious and healthy meals!

Have a great day!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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