I've made this salad so many times, now. The first time I made it, I use the ingredients I had on hand, and thought it was almost too tangy. Then, I made the actual recipe for dinner at my aunt's on Christmas Eve, and I didn't think it had enough flavor. So I went back to how I made it the first time, and yeah.. I'm in love. I could eat this salad pretty much endlessly and be perfectly happy. Alex actually likes it, too! He actually requested it again, which doesn't usually happen with salads for him.
One of the main reasons Alex loves this probably has to do with the bacon. And the cheese. With smoky bacon, asiago, almonds, shallots, and a tangy lemon dressing, this salad has all of the perfect flavors and textures. It comes together pretty quickly once you have the bacon ready (I like to bake mine on wire racks on cookie sheets at 400ºF for about 20 minutes, and then keep them wrapped in paper towels in a bag in the fridge, so I always have some ready). To shred the brussels sprouts, I used the shredding blade on my food processor, but you can also use a mandolin if you'd like (and if you're feeling brave). Freshly grated asiago is so key here (feel free to play around with other hard cheeses - romano, parmesan).
There's no need to tell anyone this salad has brussels sprouts in it, especially if you have any picky eaters. They'll never know, and once they try it, they'll never go back! I'm a huge brussels sprouts lover, but this is definitely my favorite way to have them. SO good. And to my family - I'll definitely have to make the better version of this at one of our next family gatherings.
Bacon & Brussels Sprout Salad
adapted from Pinch of Yum
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, to taste
6 slices bacon, cooked & chopped into small pieces
2 lbs. brussels sprouts (about 4 dozen)
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup freshly grated asiago cheese
Place the minced lemon into a small bowl, and squeeze the juice of the two lemons over top. Pour in the oil, and whisk until it becomes pale and creamy (it forms an emulsion here). Season with salt and pepper, and place in the fridge until the rest of the salad is ready.
Thoroughly clean your brussels sprouts, and chop off the ends. Using a food processor with the shredding blade attached (or mandolin), shred the brussels sprouts. Transfer to a large bowl.
Without cleaning the food processor, add the almonds, and process until coarsely chopped. Place them in the large bowl with the brussels sprouts, and shred the asiago cheese with the shredding blade in your food processor. Add the cheese and the crumbled bacon to the bowl, and toss until well mixed.
Once ready to serve, toss the salad with the dressing. Store leftovers in the refrigerator (they taste even better as the flavors mingle even more).
**If you find that the dressing is too sour/tangy with two lemons (I personally love it), feel free to use one orange and one lemon, or add some stevia drops or a teaspoon of maple syrup to the dressing.