Do you love brussels sprouts? Hate them? Brussels sprouts seem to be quite polarizing. I used to be a total brussels sprouts hater — the mere mention of them made me shudder — but over the years, I’ve become a complete brussels sprout convert, and now I consider them one of my favorite vegetables.
When it comes to brussels sprouts, it’s all about the preparation. I think my initial hate stemmed from the fact that the only brussels sprouts I tasted as a kid were boiled, which resulted in a vaguely greenish-brownish, mushy ball of sadness. When I had the opportunity to try them roasted, sauteed, and fried, the clouds parted and I could finally see the brussels sprout light.
I’ve made brussels sprouts a few different ways over the years, but this preparation is my favorite. It works perfectly as a side dish or as a main meal (especially if you add a little grilled chicken on top).
One reason I love making it for a dinner party or holiday meal because it’s a lot lighter than many typical side dishes, which often involve drenching vegetables in butter, cheese, and other decadent ingredients. Plus, because it’s served at room temperature, it’s one less thing you need worry about keeping hot during those frantic final minutes when you’re trying to get all of your food onto the table!
You can use store-bought dressing if you don’t want to make your own, but even if you do make the homemade vinaigrette, this salad can be whipped up in minutes.
When you chop up the brussels sprouts and give them a light saute, they retain a fantastic crunch and turn a beautiful shade of bright green. Adding salad greens (arugula is my personal favorite) boosts the freshness and flavor, while the addition of bacon gives it that little bit of decadence and texture that makes it completely delicious.
If you’re looking for a holiday side dish that’s quick, healthy, and a crowd pleaser, you need to add this one to your menu. And you might just convert even the staunchest brussel sprouts hater at the table.
Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon & Arugula Lemon Vinaigrette
Chopped, lightly sauteed brussels sprouts mixed with arugula, bacon, and a lemony vinaigrette.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 slices bacon separated
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 lbs approx 4 cups roughly chopped brussels sprouts
- 1 slice lemon
- 8 oz arugula or other tender salad greens roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cook 5 slices of bacon until crisp using the method of your choice. Cool, chop and set aside for later.
- In a skillet, drizzle some olive oil, and lightly saute the 3 uncooked bacon slices until they're just starting to render.
- Add the garlic and chopped brussels sprouts and stir over medium/low heat for about 1 minute.
- Squeeze in the juice from your lemon slice and sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
- Saute for an additional 2 minutes, or until the sprouts have softened a little, but still have some crunch, drizzling in a little more olive oil if needed.
- Add additional salt and lemon juice to taste, and remove from heat.
Remove bacon slices and discard.
- Once the sauteed brussels sprouts have cooled slightly, toss them in a large bowl with the chopped greens and the cooked, chopped bacon. Just before serving, toss with the dressing.
- Place all ingredients into a closed container and shake until combined.