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Brussels Sprouts Salad from Le Grand Orange, Pasadena

by Karen on April 1st, 2012

Amazing Brussels Sprouts Salad

I know you are skeptical.

I was too.

My aunt heard I had visited Le Grand Orange in Pasadena for a fabulous lunch and the first thing she wanted to know was if I had tried the Brussels sprouts salad.  I love pan-fried Brussels sprouts but never in a million years would I have ordered such a salad.  Instead I ordered their fish tacos with the traditional fixin’s plus a great kale and sun-dried tomato side.  They also make their corn tortillas from scratch—goes well with an Italian Pinot Grigio.

So of course when I found myself again in Pasadena a few days later with my brother, I had to go back and try the salad.  It was huge.  It was delicious, and I had to find out how to make it.  The waitress happily told me the process and I made the salad the other night based on her loose instructions.

Le Grand Orange on Raymond in Pasadena

Secret to Brussels Sprouts Salad

To remove any bitterness, the key is to brine the halved Brussels sprouts overnight, blanch them the next day, stem them, separate the leaves, and put them in a salad spinner to remove excess water.

in ice water bath after blanching

A critical step is to store them in the refrigerator for at least a few hours in a plastic bag with a few paper towels to absorb any moisture.   Admittedly it is a bit of work but quite an impressive salad.  I always throw together the honey mustard dressing so these are approximate amounts—I didn’t write down the recipe while making it.

Note: if you are a novice, blanch means to boil for a few minutes until vegetable turns a brighter green and then plunge the vegetable into ice water to stop the cooking process.

If you visit Pasadena go to this restaurant–I have a hunch that EVERYTHING is very good and can easily be made gluten free! The chef deserves a big thank you for providing great food at the right price

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Brussels Sprouts Salad

I had this with a Santa Ynez Sauvignon Blanc that was a perfect match.

Serves 4

4 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/4-1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup dried cherries and dried cranberries
1 cup toasted almonds
8 slices of bacon crisped and chopped
1/2 cup Manchego cheese, shaved

Honey Mustard Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Dissolve salt into water in a large non-reactive bowl, add halved Brussels sprouts . Brine overnight, be sure Brussels sprouts are covered with water. The next day, drain and rinse, then blanch them, stem them, separate the leaves, and put them in a salad spinner to remove excess water .  A critical step is to store them in the refrigerator for at least a few hours in a plastic bag with a few paper towels to absorb any moisture.

When ready to serve, toss Brussels sprouts leaves with dressing and plate each salad topping with dried fruit, nuts, bacon, and cheese.

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