Waldorf Salad with Brussels Sprouts

by feastonthecheap on November 23, 2009

Mary Anne here. Traditionally, my family forgoes a green salad on Turkey Day in favor of all of the other scrumptious sides we can chow down on just once a year. We do, however, always have fresh green beans in some form – a slight nod to healthier fare. But for some reason, this year I have had a real hankering for Brussels Sprouts.

I combed through stacks of cookbooks and Gourmet magazines (sigh), but couldn’t find a recipe that intrigued me. Additionally, I loathe preparing last minute veggies on this big holiday and so the inevitable culinary juices began simmering with thoughts of creating a cold side dish starring the beloved sprouts. I adore Waldorf salad and I think you can see where I’m going here. The dressing was tricky, and it took a few attempts to get just the right amount of tang from the vinegar without overwhelming the multiple flavors of this luscious salad but I think I’ve nailed this one and can’t wait to try it out on my own family this year!

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Waldorf Salad with Brussels Sprouts
Serves 8

Tip: Prepare the actual Brussels Sprouts and the dressing the day before.

Choosing the best sprouts: They should be on the smaller side; plump, firm, and green. If the outer leaves are yellow or falling off, they’re past their prime. I like to buy them “on the stalk” so I can see what I’m getting. They’re often packed in containers, hiding the yellowed specimens out of sight.

For the Dressing:
4 Tablespoons Cider vinegar – stock
3 Tablespoons low fat or regular mayonnaise – stock
1/3 cup olive oil – stock
salt and freshly ground pepper – stock

For the Salad:
1 ¼ lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and loose outer leaves removed – $1.69
3 Gala apples, cored and coarsely chopped – $2.48
½ cup celery, chopped – $0.26
1 cup chopped walnuts – stock
½ cup currants or raisins (optional)
1 cup smoked Gouda cheese, diced – $1.39
Grand Total Assuming Well-Stocked Pantry: $5.82
Per Serving: $0.73

Directions:
1. Cut the trimmed Brussels sprouts in half. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the prepared Brussels sprouts and cook over high flame until tender: about 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the sprouts. They’re done when they are easily pierced by a sharp knifepoint. Immediately drain them in a colander and refresh them under cold, running water. If preparing ahead of time, gently pat them dry and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days before.

2. Prepare the dressing by combining the mayonnaise and Cider vinegar, whisking well to blend. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly. Season the dressing with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, walnuts, and celery. Add the dressing, tossing gently to combine. Can be made up to 4 hours ahead of time and stored, covered in the refrigerator.