The salad is the most interesting combo in the universe. When I read Joy's post about this salad she came up with, I couldn't wait to try it. It is shaved (raw) Brussels sprouts with chunks of fresh pineapple, avocado, roasted macadamia nuts and French lentils and a pineapple poppy seed vinaigrette. Fascinating. Genius.
Let me just give a little of my experience with the different components.
Raw Brussels sprouts are good. The closer you get to the core, the more bitter they taste. But the bitterness is nice with the other parts of the salad. Also, 8 cups? Yikes, that is like a million. I just got a regular amount.
Pineapple. It was actually on sale for me at my Whole Foods. Even though I claim to be the best produce-picker-outer (including pineapples), the one I picked was pretty horrible. However, it tasted great in the salad and still made a delicious dressing. Who knew?
French Lentils. Fancy lentils. They are a pretty color. But they taste the same to me. Maybe they taste more muddy. But in a good way. Hard to explain.
Macadamia nuts. Are AMAZING!
As you can see, I did more of a lentil salad with shaved Brussels sprouts, pineapple, avocado and macadamia nuts on top. This is mostly because I couldn't afford 8 cups of shaved Brussels sprouts. But I liked the proportions. Joy's proportions also look delicious. Also, this dressing is a real winner. And I am not usually a fan of sweet dressings.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pineapple Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
8 cups raw Brussels sprouts ribbons (lay sprouts on their sides and sliced thin, creating green ribbons)
1/2 cup scallions, sliced from the white to the green
1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks, sliced bite size
1 cup French Lentils, cooked
1 cup raw macadamia nuts, roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 cup avocado chunks
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Toss raw macadamia nuts in 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Simmer one cup of French lentils in 3 cups of water. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until just cooked through. Drain completely, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and set aside to cool completely.
Slice pineapple into bite size chunks.
Prepare salad dressing.
Just before serving the salad, toss together Brussels sprouts, scallions, parsley, pineapple, lentils, macadamia nuts and avocado chunks. Drizzle in dressing and toss well. Serve immediately.
(Servings: 6, Prep time: 1 hr., Difficulty: Easy)
Pineapple Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons chopped scallions (the white portion)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Place fresh pineapple chunks in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend pineapple into a mostly smooth, frothy pulp. Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and press the pineapple puree through the strainer into the bowl. Scrape the bottom of the fine mesh strainer to get all the good bits. There will be just a bit of pineapple pulp in the fine mesh strainer when you’re done. You’ll have about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of juice/pulp.
In the the bowl of the food processor, combine juice/pump, honey, rice wine vinegar, scallions, garlic, and mustard. Pulse 5 times to incorporate. With the food processor on, slowly stream in the canola oil. Stop the food processor once the dressing is emulsified. Pour the dressing into a medium bowl and stir in poppy seeds, salt and pepper.
Salad dressing should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
(Makes 2 cups)
Shanon (taste): 8/10
Scot (taste): 9/10
Dishwashing Effort: 3/5