The trifecta of a perfect weekday meal: health-supportive, timesaving, and tasty (not necessarily in that order, right)? If you can prepare a nutrient-dense, restaurant-ready dinner in under 30 minutes, there’s really no need for takeout, right? Now you can bookmark this stylish dish that ticks all the right boxes!
Shaved Brussels sprouts provide the foundation for this superfood salad. Brussels sprouts contain antioxidant vitamins C and K. The sprouts and pears bring a healthy dose of digestive-friendly fiber. Grated pecorino cheese and toasted almonds provide that all-important protein to build and repair bones, muscles, hair, nails, and more. Its fresh taste and complex textures make this a satisfying winner of a meal.
Be sure to check out my prepping tips and easy variations, too!
Brussels Sprout, Pear, and Pecorino Salad with Toasted Almonds
Total: 00:20 Prep: 00:18 Cook: 00:02
½ cup sliced almonds
3 pounds large, firm Brussels sprouts
1 pound Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1 pear, peeled, cored, and cut into matchsticks
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Pepper to taste
1. Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat and toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until fragrant and browned, about 2 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
2. Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts, removing any wilted, brown, or yellow leaves. Chop off the stems, and discard leaves and stems.
3. Slice the sprouts in half lengthwise. Hold sprouts, flat side down, on a secure cutting board, and cut crosswise as thinly as possible.
4. In a large bowl, add the sprouts, toasted almonds, cheese, and pear, tossing well to combine. Set aside.
5. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt until blended.
6. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
- Brussels Sprout, Pecorino, and Apple Salad with Walnuts. Swap the pear for an apple and the almonds for walnuts. These small adjustments change the salad just enough to make it feel entirely new.
- Dairy-Free Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad. Omit the pecorino. For an extra layer of flavor, add a finely sliced red onion in step 4. Proceed as directed.
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon-Mustard Dressing. Play with different dressing combinations. For an added kick of flavor and texture, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of mustard to the dressing. Whisk until well incorporated. The more mustard you use, the thicker your dressing will be.
Toasting nuts can be frustrating. For the first minute, it seems as if nothing is happening. Then, you look away for what feels like a second, and they’re burned! If toasting almonds on the stove never seems to work for you, try toasting them in an oven or toaster oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the almonds on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Or, place in a bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil before spreading on a baking sheet. Toast until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Halfway through, check the almonds and shake the pan to ensure even browning. Remove the almonds and let cool. Proceed as directed.
Also, cutting Brussels sprouts can be tricky, so stay alert! Alternatively, you can place whole sprouts in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Process them in batches to cut into thin slices. Using your hands, separate further as necessary.
We all know that salads are good for us, but this recipe raises the bar on flavor and health! Brussels sprouts are powerful greens that protect us from illness and disease. Thanks to their glucosinolates, a sulforaphane compound, Brussels sprouts help our bodies fight and prevent common cancers, and treat irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. The addition of pear enhances these benefits by adding more fiber, which increases the digestibility of food and promotes regularity.
Think the lemon dressing is just there for flavor? These sunny citrus fruits can also boost your immune system, support circulatory health, and fight against free-radical damage.
Prepping ingredients in advance is a trick professional chefs use to keep their kitchens running efficiently. Home cooks can do the same, saving time and stress during the busy week. Up to two days in advance, slice the Brussels sprouts, toast the almonds, and whisk the dressing. Store the sprouts and dressing separately in the refrigerator, and keep the almonds in a sealed container. Cut the pear right before serving. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. To keep the pears looking fresh and vibrant, combine them with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice before adding them to the salad. While you’re at it, double the dressing to use on other salads throughout the week!