Brussel Sprout Salad

brussel-sprout-salad
People have very strong opinions about brussel sprouts – they either love them or hate them. I find they are similar to politics, in a way. You don’t want to bring them up in dinner conversation because you will often get a very explosive reaction and people will never agree.  I can’t even mention the word brussel sprout in front of my husband without getting a ‘god those are gross.’ But the truth is I don’t think he has even touched one since he was a kid, when everyone hates them. I certainly did.  Growing up,  I couldn’t believe something so terrible existed in the world.
However, seeing as this is a post about brussel sprouts, I have changed my mind. These cute little things are wonderful, and you can do a lot of fun things with them. If you like brussel sprouts, you will love this salad. If you don’t, stop reading this post now. I don’t want to upset any readers.
Recipe

1 lb fresh brussel sprouts

2 slices bacon
3 T. dried cranberries
2 T. olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 T. maple syrup
kosher salt
I think this salad tastes best with crispy roasted brussel sprouts, but you could steam them if you need to save time.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Lay the brussel sprouts on a baking sheet in a single layer, drizzle with 1 T. of the olive oil, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Roast for about 20-25 minutes – you want them to remain crispy. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
Meanwhile, prepare the bacon.
Cook until very crispy. Transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel.
For this dressing I used a balsamic reduction. I mixed 1 cup balsamic vinegar with 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and cooked in a large saucepan on medium until reduced to about 1/4 cup. I love the sweetness of the glaze with this salad, but you could also just mix 3 tablespoons balsamic with 3 tablespoons maple syrup if you were looking to save time.
Break the bacon up into large crumbles, then toss with the brussel sprouts and dried cranberries. Mix in the dressing, and you’re dunzo. How easy!
I think this salad is best served slightly chilled, but you could serve it warm if you prefer.
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