Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad is a delicious and crunchy dish that’s perfect for a picnic, potluck, side dish, party or light lunch. Let it rest for a few hours up to overnight for even more flavor
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Every time I do a recipe featuring vegetables, I talk about how picky I was with vegetables when I was a kid. If I didn’t like something, nobody and nothing could change my mind. And it didn’t even matter if I’d tried the vegetable or not…if I didn’t like the way it looked, I wasn’t eating it.
That was definitely the case with brussel sprouts. Which is funny, because I ate cabbage and they’re in the same family. But the only time I remember brussel sprouts at the table, they were steamed. No chance I was eating those. I’ve eaten absolutely delicious brussel sprouts several times at restaurants, and they were always golden and crispy. I finally dove in at home by including brussel sprouts with my Roasted Cornish Game Hen. Those brussel sprouts were awesome, so I bought some more and created Skillet Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Onions. Another hit, but not surprising, considering I sauteed the brussel sprouts in the bacon fat.
We got a Sprouts Farmer’s Market in Stillwater about 2 years ago, and I love it. They have a wider and larger selection of produce than my local Walmart, so I’m able to be more creative with my recipes. A couple of weeks ago I started to see brussel sprouts again, so I decided to buy some, even though I didn’t have a recipe in mind. Pinterest is my go-to for inspiration, and of course I’m seeing lots of spring and summer recipes these days. One of the quintessential summer recipes is cole slaw. I’ve always been a fan, but I don’t ever make it at home and usually only eat it as a side with BBQ. I didn’t have any cabbage in the house, so decided to create a different version of the traditional with Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad
This Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad is really delicious, with so many wonderful flavors in every single bite.
When I need to shred cabbage I’ll usually just use a knife and slice/shred it by hand. Yes, you could thinly slice the brussel sprouts by hand, but they are small. And knowing my luck I’d chop off a finger instead. So I cut off the ends, halve or quarter the brussel sprouts lengthwise, and shred them with a food processor. Much easier and faster.
INGREDIENTS IN BACON FIG BRUSSEL SPROUTS SALAD
- Bacon. Thick-cut bacon. Yes, you could use regular bacon. Or, to keep Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad vegetarian, omit the bacon. But that would mess up the name, and no bacon is sad. So embrace the bacon!
- Figs: I use sweet California Mission Figlets. I love the sweet bite of the figs, and how well they work with bacon, like in my Bacon Fig and Gorgonzola Pizza
- Dried Cranberries: I made Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad with dried cranberries, and without. To me, the salad was missing something without the cranberries. The tart bite of the cranberries contrasts really well with the sweet figs.
- Sliced Almonds: I toast the almonds for a few minutes in a dry pan, to release the oils and develop a golden brown color. I crush the almonds before adding them to the salad
- Red onion: I add onion to pretty much everything, so why not add it here for a little more crunch. I use red onion, because it is sweeter and more mild than yellow onion
Look at all those beautiful colors and textures in Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad! It’s kind of like a party in your mouth.
CITRUS VINAIGRETTE – THE FINAL TOUCH
This is a very simple vinaigrette, with fresh lemon juice and Avocado Oil. You can find fresh lemons in every grocery store, all year long, so don’t buy the juice in a bottle. It’s not even close to the same thing. I added fresh garlic the first time, but it was too harsh. The next time I added a clove of roasted garlic, and it was perfect. Roasted garlic is smooth and sweet, and you could almost eat it straight. I also add black pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Powder. Really, a vinaigrette is up to you and what works best for you.
I make the vinaigrette about 15 minutes before using, and after I dress the salad I let it rest for at least an hour. On my first attempt I over-estimated how many brussel sprouts I needed, so I had way more than I could eat at once. I put the leftovers in the fridge, and ate some more the next day. Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad might be better on day 2! I was a little worried the bacon and vinaigrette might make the salad limp, but that didn’t happen at all. On the contrary, the brussel sprouts and almonds still had that crunch. I did under-dress the Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad on purpose. You can always add more vinaigrette…you can’t take any out.
Bacon Fig Brussel Sprouts Salad is perfect for a potluck, picnic, party, side dish, or light lunch. I’m excited to share this recipe with my friends and family.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 25 brussel sprouts
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sweet Mission figlets, ends removed and sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or olive oil
- 2 lemons
- 2 teaspoons fresh crack black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
In medium bowl, juice lemon. Add onion powder, black pepper, and roasted garlic and combine. Whisk in oil until fully combined. Set aside
Add almonds to large, dry skillet. Toast almonds over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Remove and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, add almonds to plastic sandwich bag and crush.
Add bacon to same skillet and cook, until desired level of done. Remove, drain on paper towels, and crumble
Cut ends from brussel sprouts. Cut brussel sprouts lengthwise in half (or quarters, if really large). Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Transfer brussel sprouts to colander, rinse well under running water, and allow to drain well
In large bowl, combine brussel sprouts, figs, dried cranberries, red onion, and bacon. Toss well to combine. I find that when I use my hands to toss, and combine the ingredients in batches rather than all at once, the ingredients distribute more evenly
Top with almonds, then drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss again lightly to coat the salad with vinaigrette.
FOR BEST RESULTS: Allow salad to rest for at least an hour before serving, to allow flavors to develop. The longer it rests, the better!