Crunchy, tart, and sweet, Brussels Sprouts Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette makes for a perfect cold-weather dish when you’re craving something green. The components, candied pecans with a bit of a kick, a maple Dijon dressing that has just enough attitude, and tart apples and dried cranberries complement the shaved Brussels sprouts. It’s healthy without being too healthy, and, if a bit of care is taken in assembly could go on the Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving table. Want recipes without all the jibber jabber? Subscribe below and get access to the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box!

Feeling better and craving a crisp salad with Brussels sprouts

I always know that I’m feeling better when I crave something green, and so I made Brussels Sprouts Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing yesterday afternoon. Ollie and I had taken a long, celebratory walk earlier in the glorious sunshine. Ollie was most understanding of his sick human, but he practically flew down the stairs in anticipation after I said the magic words, “Yeah! We’re gonna go!”

Legs stretched, and heart happy afterwards, I then set out to make the dish that I’d looked forward to all day. I tend toward simple salads that don’t require a lot of prep (Leftover Steak Salad uses leftovers), but I really like the contrasts in this one.

Foundation of Brussels Sprouts Salad
Getting ingredients together

A little bit of fuss makes for a tasty Brussels sprouts salad

It takes a little time to get Brussels Sprout Salad all pulled together, but I assure you that it’s worth it and that there’s nothing onerous or difficult here. If you’re staple ingredients look like mine, you won’t need to make any special purchases (I almost always have Brussels sprouts on hand this time of year).

Get the Maple Pecans in the oven and make the dressing while they cook. Then blanch the sprouts, and take a little break before assembling the salad. Easy peasy.

Blanching the Brussels sprouts mellows them a bit, allowing them to work as a salad green without overwhelming bitterness. Some greens are not really meant to be eaten totally raw, at least not in my humble opinion. I suppose you could skip it if you were well and truly psyched about eating raw Brussels sprouts, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Maple Pecans for Brussels Sprouts Salad
Maple Pecans are perfect for salads or a snack

Those Maple Pecans, though

You’ll find that you’ll use the components for other dishes. The delectable Maple Pecans make a perfect snack (add some herbs and spices to them, and then serve at a party whenever we get to have those again), as well as salad topping. Every time I make Maple Pecans, I wonder why I don’t do it more often—as far as bang for buck goes, they’re hard to beat. I promise I won’t tell if you nibble on them while putting the salad together.

Maple Dijon Vinaigrette is a keeper, too

The Maple Dijon vinaigrette also makes appearances in other salads. It’s sweet, with a little bit of puckery attitude. Get the crispest apple you can find and slice it super thin, and don’t forget the dried cranberries, as they add just enough tart/sweet to balance the salad. 

A little bit of effort results in a most satisfying salad. I’d even go so far as to say if your Thanksgiving  or Friendsgiving table is in want of a little crunch, this could make an appearance. 

What’s your go-to salad for when you want something different? Let me know in the comments, and also let me know if you try this! I’d love to hear what you think.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing

Crunchy, tart, and sweet, this tasty salad is perfect for cold days when you need something green. There's steps involved in making it, but they aren't intense, and the dressing and nuts can be prepared ahead of time. The maple nuts make a great snack, and the vinaigrette will make it into your regular rotation. Blanching the sprouts mellows them without sacrificing the crunch. Put a little effort into putting this together, and it would make a great side for Thanksgiving.
This recipe makes enough for two large salads for two people, or 4 servings as a side dish.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

For the Maple Pecans

  • 1 cup pecans if they are raw, consider toast them first to improve crunch
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch Piment d'Espelette or chili powder to taste
  • flaky sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

For the Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 5 tbsp apple cider vinegar this is to taste
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

For the Salad

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 apple, preferably McIntosh, sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
  • Maple Pecans, chopped see above
  • Maple Dijon dressing see above
  • kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

Make the Maple Pecans

  • Add the olive oil, maple syrup, and Piment d'Espelette to a bowl and mix to combine
    Maple Pecans for Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Add the pecans, mix to coat and then pour out onto the foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt
    Maple Pecans for Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 14 minutes, stirring every 5 until the syrup is very, very sticky and the nuts have deepened a bit in color (and smell amazing). Sprinkle with a bit more flaky sea salt and a couple of grinds of pepper
    Maple Pecans for Brussels Sprouts Salad
  • Cool just long enough to be able to handle them on the pan and then remove to a bowl until needed. IMPORTANT: Do not leave them on the foil, because they will stick to it. Maple Pecans can be made up to a day ahead in a jar.

Make the Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

  • In a mason jar with a lid, add the olive oil. Cover and shake vigorously until the olive oil has gotten a little cloudy
    Dressing for Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Add the vinegar and shake again until blended. Follow with the maple syrup and then the mustard, shaking vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust if necessary and then season with a bit of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Blanch the Brussels Sprouts

  • Prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to hold the Brussels Sprouts
  • Add the Brussels Sprouts to the boiling salted water and blanch for 2 minutes (this depends on their size). The leaves should still be bright green but deepen slightly
  • Drain and then add the Brussels Sprouts immediately to the ice water to stop cooking. When cooled, drain, and dry in a tea towel. The sprouts must be dry before assembling the salad

Assemble the Salad

  • Trim the bottoms off the Brussels sprouts and core (I do this by cutting around it). You want to have mostly green leaves, with a little bit of paler green
    Coring Brussels Sprouts for Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Then shred the sprouts using a very sharp knife. Add the sprouts to the serving bowl (in the images and I assembled one salad)
  • Add the apples, followed by the dried cranberries and Maple Pecans
    Assemble the Brussels Sprouts Salad
  • Add the salad dressing. Toss to combine and serve
    Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
Keyword apples, autumn salad, Brussels sprouts, maple dijon dressing, maple syrup, pecans, salad, salad dressing, winter salad
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!