This is really a Fall salad when the leaves are changing and brussel sprouts and apples are wonderfully abundant but Baby Lady and I love it. We saw brussel sprouts at the market and thought about how much we like this salad. So we bought them and fixed it for dinner last night. 🙂
I realize there are people out there who hate brussel sprouts. Other people out there can’t stand blue cheese. For those people don’t stop reading just yet. I like both so it’s no wonder I like this salad. Baby Lady likes brussel sprouts but not necessarily blue cheese. She thinks this salad is divine. Our youngest son, Knothead, doesn’t like either one but oddly enough he likes this salad. There is something about the combination of flavors in this dish that come together to make a fabulous salad. Perhaps it’s because it is loaded with bacon flavor and bacon makes anything taste good. Maybe it’s the apples or the sweet tanginess of the salad dressing. The brussel sprouts are just lightly cooked so they wilt but retain their brilliant green color and a little chewiness when you eat them. The blue cheese is definitely present but by no means overpowering or a prominent flavor in the dish. You get the toasted pine nuts for a little texture and their buttery flavor. It’s just so good with layers upon layers of flavors and textures all in balance. This is a salad you simply have to try. You can eat this salad as a side salad with dinner or as an entire meal. It is a hearty salad, has loads of flavor and will surpsie you how good it is, even if you don’t like brussel sprouts or blue cheese.
- 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and quartered
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp very finely chopped shallot
- 1/2 cup oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
- 6 oz bacon, medium dice
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- 1 Fuji apple, medium dice
- 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 4 oz blue cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp chives, sliced
Peel the leaves off the brussel sprouts and discard the core.
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small baking dish, toss the Granny Smith apple quarters with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Roast the apple quarters for about 15 minutes, until they are very tender and browned in spots.
Scrape the apple and its juices into a blender along with the water, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, shallot and oil.
Puree until the dressing is smooth.
Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate.
In a very large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until the nuts are golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool. In the same skillet, fry the bacon.
When done, remove the bacon from the skillet so as not to burn Add the brussel sprout leaves and Fuji apple and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring, until the leaves wilt slightly, about 3 minutes. Return the bacon to the skillet, add the pine nuts, parsley and 6 tablespoons of the apple dressing and cook until warmed through, about 1 minute. (Reserve the remaining dressing for another use.)
Season with salt and pepper and transfer to plates. Crumble blue cheese over the salad and sprinkle with the chives. Toss to incorporate. Serve and enjoy.