As soon as the leaves start falling off the trees, I look forward to the availability of Brussels sprouts. This salad recipe calls for the help of a food processor which makes prep incredibly easy. Plus, it can be made in advance, so is a terrific side when company is coming. What’s more, its shades of red and green make it a festive addition to meals during the holiday season. So what are you waiting for? It’s time for Brussels sprout salad and wine!
Makes 4-6 servings
1 pound Brussels sprouts
seeds (aka arils) from 1 pomegranate
1/4 – 1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon (optional, but if you already have the lemon this amps up the flavor)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
drizzle of pomegranate syrup (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Remove any sad, wilty leaves from the Brussels sprouts then rinse the sprouts. I simply dump them in a big colander in the sink, shower them with cold water, and leave them to drain.
Next, put the slicing blade on the food processor. Deposit sprouts into the feeding tube of the processor with the blade running. Voila, you have the base of the salad!
Transfer the shredded Brussels sprouts to a bowl.
To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, pomegranate syrup if using, and salt. I often keep empty jars on hand for easy mixing. Simply put the dressing ingredients in a jar, put the lid on, and shake it up.
Top the shaved Brussels sprouts with the dressing, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts then toss to combine. Voila, salad! I tend to refrigerate the salad a couple of hours or so before it is served.
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A number of experts decry the pairing of salad with wine. “Dressings are too acidic to pair with wine,” they claim. I simply look at wine as part of the meal with the goal of balance in mind. By using lemon juice instead of vinegar, the acid isn’t quite as intense. If the dressing does need to be toned down, that can be done with additional olive oil.
In the end, the greenness of the Brussels sprouts prevails and that’s what I tend to think about when selecting the wine. Plus, there’s the presence of citrus. So, I look for a wine with some nice acidity that also delivers some citrus flavors.
The word “gruner” translates to green, so what better wine to pair with a salad that is full of a green veggie? Often referred to as “Gruner” or “GruV” (think groovy) by wine geeks, part of the wine’s intrigue is its savory flavor profile, typically with a peppery character. It’s also noted for bright acidity. There is not a lot of Gruner Veltliner grown in Washington State, but it’s worth seeking out.
Or, for a more traditional take on Gruner check out selections from Austria where this variety is one of the most significant. When the hubby and I traveled there in 2019 we had the pleasure of visiting Schloss Gobelsburg, and I highly recommend the estate’s wines. We always have a bottle of their Gruner in our stash. Fortunately, it’s available online via wine.com.
People often think of Riesling as sweet. Well, sure, it can be. However, keep in mind that it’s also got a lot of acidity. If shopping for Riesling with all its different styles and designations overwhelms you, Eroica Riesling is a quality example from Washington State that won’t break the bank.