sometimes i feel a little bit guilty when i post “recipes” that are just a few simple ingredients thrown together. aaaand then i remember how much more likely *i* am to make something that just requires tossing a few things in bowl (heeyyy there, simple shaved brussels sprouts salad), rather than measuring and beating and proofing and cooling and reducing and all the other steps that stand between me and eating now. and i remember just how great quick, simple recipes can be.
i’m guessing maybe i’m not alone here? i mean, i don’t get me wrong, i love a complicated recipe as much as the next person with a few spare hours to kill until they’re hungry and need food NOW. that’s just not me at 6:30 on a thursday night.
no, 6:30-on-a-thursday-night-kate better already be eating dinner. preferably a dinner that includes some vegetables. enter simple shaved brussels sprouts salad!
technically, most/all of this salad could be made in advance and just thrown together at the last minute. and if you are one of those three people out there who posts the photos on instagram every sunday of all of your meticulously prepped food, ready for the week ahead, neatly labeled with cute handwriting on washi tape, gold star for you! (i know i sound snarky. i’m sorry; as you guessed, i’m just jealous of your ambition and organization.)
meanwhile, the rest of us are going to be over here cramming brussels sprouts in our food processor on a thursday evening, minutes before the timer dings to tell us that the rest of dinner is ready. (pro tip from a fellow slacker/aspiring veggie eater: grocery stores have bags of presliced brussels sprouts, sometimes with other crunchy cruciferous vegetables, that are quite tasty and definitely convenient, though you miss out on the glee of dropping brussels sprouts into the food processor…)
once you’ve got the brussels sprouts sorted, it’s just a quick minute to toast the pine nuts (honestly, it’s optional, but i do recommend it) and use a cheese slicer to shave off a few thin slices of parmesan. lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a jar and you’re done. seriously. you just made a delicious salad on a thursday night (or a sunday afternoon, whatever). go team!
- 14 oz. (397 g.) brussels sprouts
- 1 oz. (28 g.) thinly shaved parmesan reggiano
- 1 ¼ oz. (1/4 cup / 34 g.) pine nuts
- juice of one lemon
- about ¼ cup (2 fl. oz. / 59 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- in a small, dry, heavy bottomed skillet, set the pine nuts to toast over medium-low heat. they like to burn so keep an eye on them and give the pan a shake every few minutes. they should take about 10 minutes.
- trim the ends off the brussels sprouts then put them through the food processor, fitted with the slicing blade. after the brussels sprouts are sliced, wash and dry them (a salad spinner is helpful here, but not essential).
- squeeze the juice of the lemon into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. add enough extra virgin olive oil such that oil makes up 1/2 to 2/3 of the dressing (to taste – 1/2 is pretty aggressively lemony but i like it).
- put the brussels sprouts in a large serving bowl, give the jar of dressing a good shake, and toss the brussels sprouts with dressing (you may not need all of the dressing). top with cheese and nuts. enjoy, and don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for not skipping the salad.
if you need/want to keep this nut-free, the garlic-toasted panko from the kale and roasted butternut squash salad would be an excellent stand-in. heck, it would be a great variation even if you like pine nuts!
the dressing keeps well in the refrigerator (at least a week, probably longer, but you didn’t hear that from me) and is very versatile. i nearly always have a jar of it in my fridge and it’s my go to for basically any salad.
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