While refreshing salads may feel like a meal reserved for hotter months, we love serving them year-round, using seasonal produce. Shaved Brussels sprouts make an excellent base for a heartier salad (and pair perfectly with dates and hazelnuts). We’ve kept the dressing light and refreshing so this salad can work any time of year. We love it as a nutrient-dense lunch or as a light side with roasted chicken or lamb for dinner.
Not your mama’s Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a great addition to salad since their tough texture marinates and softens beautifully with dressing. These are vastly different from the boiled gray Brussels you remember as a kid. They hold up well when dressed ahead of time and, in fact, taste even better the longer they sit in dressing or marinade. They are high in vitamin C, which is important for immune function, skin health, and acts as an important antioxidant in the body. Brussels sprouts are also high in folate that’s important for red blood cell formation and growth. Adequate folate helps prevent heart disease and has been shown to improve symptoms of depression.
Hazelnuts for sweet or savory
We love the addition of hazelnuts to this salad for texture and flavor. Hazelnuts are high in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that olive oil is known for. It’s important for cell membrane fluidity, meaning it impacts our hormone response, immunity, and ability to utilize minerals. Hazelnuts are also a good source of dietary fiber, so alongside fiber-rich Brussels sprouts, this salad will help digestion and improve gut health. These nuts are also rich in antioxidants, helping to fight free radicals and inflammation in the body. Daily consumption of hazelnuts has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Have a date with yourself
The soft texture and sweet flavor of dates are perfect for this hearty salad. Dried dates contain polyphenols, the compound that green tea is so often touted for. This plant compound can help boost digestion, protect against heart disease, and improve brain function. Polyphenols help digestion by promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria and fighting bad gut bacteria.
4 cups shaved brussels sprouts
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 small shallot
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup, omit if cleansing
Slice Brussels sprouts thinly. Remove pit and slice dates in half. Chop hazelnuts. Mince shallots finely. Zest and juice lemon.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, shallot, mustard, and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss Brussels sprouts, dates, and hazelnuts with dressing. This salad tastes best when it marinates for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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