Cool, crisp, and crunchy! When you do not feel like turning on the oven, try a Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad. A perfect summer meal.
No cook meal
We all know those days, the humidity and the temperature are at their highest. The thought of turning on an oven produces an almost visceral reaction. Plus a heavy and hot meal is the last thing I want when it is so hot. I want something that will lower my body's core temperature. A no cook meal is the answer! One of my go-to meals that does not require an oven is a salad. But I want a salad with dimension and personality.
I have a list of attributes for a satisfying salad. I know this may sound a little Type-A. But I think any salad lover would agree you need the following -
A variety of textures keeps a salad interesting; crunchy, chewy, crisp, unctuous will keep your taste buds guessing
Do we eat with our eyes? I think we do. The aesthetic appeal of food can't be overstated.
A variety of ingredients all contributing to the final meal keep the salad from becoming one-note. How many times have you had the usual dinner salad at a restaurant with a few shreds of carrot, red cabbage, and a couple of cherry tomatoes? There is nothing wrong with this salad but I already know what it will taste like. I want something a little more inspired.
You may think this is the same thing as texture. But I am referring to the crunch of lettuce. I like having a variety of lettuces in salads. However, whatever the lettuce, it needs to be fresh. The best way to achieve a crunch is to make sure the lettuce has been rinsed, drained, and chilled before serving. Cold lettuce will always be crispier!
A punchy dressing
I tend to like vinaigrette for salads. But there can always be a case made for a creamy green goddess or a piquant blue cheese dressing. The key is to make sure the dressing has a bold flavor. Different vinegars, cheeses, shallots, or garlic can make all the difference.
Salt and pepper
This seems basic. But this is one of the most important steps. Season the greens with salt and pepper before you add dressing. It makes a huge difference.
Putting it all together
This Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad satisfies all of my salad requirements. While I use arugula and frisee to add texture and crunch, the primary green is Brussels sprouts. Raw, roasted, sauteed - Brussels sprouts are one of my favs. Thankfully you can buy them already shredded.
Many of the other ingredients can be purchased ready for the salad bowl like shredded carrots. I used a mandolin to thinly slice the radishes, but you can as easily use a knife.
The only special prep is I par-cooked the haricot vert (also known as French green beans) until they were just crisp tender. Add the beans to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for about 4 minutes. Once they are cooked, add them to ice water to shock the beans and stop the cooking. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
Miso and ginger vinaigrette
Zesty and tangy, this vinaigrette is the perfect way to add full-on flavor to the veggies. While the punchy ingredients with the rice wine vinegar could be enough, I like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Nothing too hot, just a little zing. The recipe makes about 1//2 cup of vinaigrette, which is more than enough for the salad. One of the steps of successful salad making is to know when to say when while adding the dressing. You don't want to drown the greens but the salad shouldn't be dry.
Who wants to spend time cooking at a hot oven during the summer? This salad is easy to toss together and doesn't require a lot of prep work. If you want more substance, add some rotisserie chicken or boiled shrimp to the greens. The miso dressing will compliment any of these additions.
For the dog days of summer or when you just want a crunchy salad, have the easy-to-prepare Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad.
Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
Ginger Miso Dressing
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- salt and pepper
- 12 ounces shaved brussels sprouts
- ½ cup bell pepper slices mini peppers
- ¾ cup haricot vert French green beans, lightly poached and blanched
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- ¼ cup sliced radishes thinly sliced
- ½ cup red onions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 cup greens crisp greens such as arugula or frisee
Miso Ginger Dressing
- Add a healthy pinch of salt to the rice wine vinegar. Let the salt dissolve.
- Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and miso to the rice wine vinegar. Combine with a whisk.
- Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk.
- Season with cayenne pepper to taste.
- Adjust the salt to your liking and add a few grinds of black pepper.
- Makes ½ cup of dressing.
Assemble Salad Ingredients
- Par cook the haricot vert (French green beans). Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and the green beans to the boiling water. Cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the green beans from the hot water and shock in cold ice water to stop the cooking process. Once chilled, cut the beans into 1-inch pieces.
- Combine the brussels sprouts, bell pepper slices, green beans, shredded carrots, sliced radishes, red onions.
- Add whatever crunchy lettuces you enjoy. I added some arugula and frisee.
- Add the miso ginger dressing to the salad. I used less than ½ cup for my salads. Use the amount you prefer.
- Add the cilantro leaves as you toss the salad with the dressing.
- Add a few sesame seeds to the top of the salad as a garnish.