Brussels Sprout, Bacon and Roasted Beet Salad
This fall-inspired, composed salad is made with applewood-smoked bacon, roasted red beets and thinly-sliced, blanched, brussels sprouts. Dressed with a zesty vinaigrette made with apple cider and cranberry juice, it makes a nice side to serve with roast turkey, pork, chicken or ham.
- 1-1/2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 6 medium red beets, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 lbs)
- 4 strips applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the dressing:
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons frozen cranberry juice concentrate
- 1 tablespoon apple cider
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil on a baking sheet and coat it thoroughly with nonstick spray.
Fry the bacon until crisp and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the fat. Set aside.
Arrange the beets in a single layer on half of the foil. Combine the bacon fat with the olive oil and drizzle over the beets. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the foil in half to form a sealed packet and place in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven, open the foil and set aside to cool to room temperature.
While the beets roast, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Trim the ends from the brussels sprouts, peel off the outermost leaves and cut them in half lengthwise. Blanch the brussels sprouts in the boiling water until bright green and barely tender, about 2-1/2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again.
Thinly slice the brussels sprouts crosswise, separate the leaves and transfer to a large bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Just before serving, pour all but 1/4 cup of the dressing over the brussels sprouts, add the bacon and toss lightly. Arrange the sprouts on a large serving plate or individual salad plates. Top with the beets and drizzle with the reserved dressing.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Don't combine your beets and brussels sprouts until you are ready to serve. The beets will stain your beautiful green sprouts red. It won't affect the taste, but the presentation will suffer.