You couldn’t pay me a gazillion bucks to eat this! Well, that would have been my response to coleslaw as a kid. First, I hated Brussels sprouts (what kid doesn’t). Secondly, I had a visceral dislike of coleslaw. The cabbage. The gloppy-thick mayo dressing. No thanks.
But recipes like this make me thankful that I’ve let go of many of my childhood food prejudices. This salad has instantly become one of my favorite, “make to impress,” dishes. It’s light, refreshing and full of flavor. Unlike the mayo-soup that you find in many coleslaw recipes, the flavors of each component really shine through: the slightly peppery Brussels sprouts, the extra peppery radicchio, the spicy Dijon, the honey’s sweetness, the brightness of the lemon juice and the toasted flavor and textural crunch of the candied almonds. It’s an amazing balance.
Served ice-cold, it’s a refreshing side paired with a hearty meat dish. I served it with a Roasted-Brined Chicken and Root Veggies. Know someone who professes a dislike for coleslaw? Spring this dish on them – like me, they’ll be converted.
DIJON-BRUSSELS SPROUT SLAW WITH CANDIED ALMONDS
(MAKE THE ALMONDS FIRST. THEY NEED TO COOL BEFORE USING. This will also make a little more of the almonds than you’ll need for the slaw. No problem. They’re addictive and you’ll want to eat them on their own.)
½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 egg white
1 TBL water
¼ TSP vanilla extract
8 oz almonds – about 2 cups
½ cup sugar
1 TSP cinnamon
¾ TSP salt
¼ TSP ground cloves
¼ TSP ground nutmeg
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and fibrous stems removed
1 small head radicchio, quartered and cored
3 TBL apple cider vinegar
1.5 TBL fresh lemon juice
3 TBL whole-grain mustard
4.5 TBL honey
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat an oven to 300°F.
Put sugar, cinnamon, salt, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg in a small bowl. Thoroughly mix. Put egg, water, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat until slightly foamy, add almonds and coat well. Lift almonds out of bowl with a slotted spoon and put them into the sugar and spice bowl. Stir almonds until they are well coated.
Bake 20-30 minutes on a lightly greased baking pan. Halfway into the baking, stir up the almonds with a fork to break them apart and prevent burning. When done, set aside to cool completely.
Meanwhile, cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Cut the halves into julienne strips. Do the same for the radicchio. Alternatively, you can shred each with a food processor (grater attachment). Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the ¼ cup olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
Add half of the dressing to the Brussels sprout-radicchio mixture and toss well to combine, adding more dressing as needed. Let stand for 15 minutes to slightly wilt the Brussels sprouts. Top with the cooled almonds and serve.
Serves 6 to 8.