I don’t know about you but, as soon as Halloween is over I start obsessing over my menu. It kinda consumes my thinking to the point where I almost can’t think about any other meal with the same excitement. Weird, I know! But, I can’t help it. Thanksgiving means a lot to me, not only because of the food but because it’s a chance to sit down with the family and be thankful for what you have.
Each year my meal is always a mix of tried and true family recipes (Roasted Turkey with Herbed Butter, Easy Orange Cranberry Sauce, Pannettone Stuffing and Pumpkin Cheesecake) and some new ones. It’s my trick for keep things traditional yet, exciting at the same time and switching things up is how I keep ‘em coming back for more : ). I usually mix it up in the salad/vegetable side department and play around with new ideas and techniques. Nothing worse than the same roasted veggies and boring old green salad year after year and I know my guests always appreciate the effort I put in making sure our veggies are anything but boring.
This year I decided to make a crisp and delicious brussels sprout salad in lieu of the usual roasted brussels sprout side. I know no one in my family has ever had a raw brussel sprout. I bet they are gonna be a little freaked out at first but I know as soon as they taste it, it will be love at first bite. Even if you’re not a brussel sprout fan, I urge you to try this salad. Brussels sprouts are more mild and slightly sweet in their raw state making them incredibly delicious and super healthy as a salad “green”. The crispiness of the brussel sprouts stands up perfectly to the sweet and tangy honey vinaigrette. Top that with seasonal pomegranate toasted walnuts and salty ricotta salad, you have one slammin’ Thanksgiving salad. If you can’t find pomegranate seeds, feel free to swap in some dried cranberries for an equally delicious and festive addition.
Crispy Brussels Sprout Salad with Ricotta Salata and Honey Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts
1 walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 lb ricotta salata, crumbled
1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper and honey. Continue whisking while you add in the oil in a steady stream.
2. Using a small pairing knife, remove the large outer leaves from the brussel sprouts (save the inner cores for soup stock or roasting later). Rinse in cold water and spin dry. Note: you can also remove the core of each sprout and thinly slice or shred instead of the removing leaves whole.
3. Place leaves into dressing bowl. Add in walnuts and pomegranate seeds and toss gently to combine. Top with crumbled ricotta salata and serve.
Christina Stanley-Salerno is a mama, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger atTakeBackYourTable.com. She loves cooking for and with her family. Life is hectic, but Christina is passionate about mealtime because she believes that family meals are the glue that holds everyone together. Creating simple, quick and healthy meals is her specialty and her trick to keeping the family meal a reality, even on busy weeknights.
Follow her on Twitter @TakeBackTables