Raw Brussels & Avocado Salad In Tarragon Dressing

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A lot of people are funny about Brussels sprouts. If you don’t believe me, try bringing a plate of them to an office potluck and see what happens. I’m done trying to figure out why, but I’m sure it has to do in most cases with some kind of childhood trauma. My standing theory is that if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you’ve just never had them cooked correctly. Or in the case of this raw Brussels sprouts salad, not cooked at all!

These sweet mini cabbages are great eaten raw – extra crunchy and refreshing. And separating the leaves is not only beautiful, but makes them perfect little cradles for dressing and all the other good stuff in this salad. Brussels are tight little bundles so I find that the best way to separate them is to trim their bases off to loosen them at the joint a little. The outer leaves are typically beat up and tough so you can toss those, and then just proceed to unfold each little cabbage one or two leaves at a time. Reserve the very centers for another use if they are too tight to open up.

To brighten these babies up I went with a tangy dressing made with lemon and fresh tarragon as well as a hint of Dijon mustard for extra depth. You can whip up the dressing with a whisk or take it a step further by tossing all the ingredients into a food processor or blender for a fluffier textured dressing.

The pepitas are nice because they’re such a tender seed, which is nice here since the Brussels are already crunchy enough. The avocado and goat cheese soften and smooth things out in all the right places, unfolding and coating each raw leaf as you work your way through the salad.

I’ve made a couple versions of this salad – with goat cheese and without, with apple and without. Good both ways. I will say that the paper-thin slices of apple are a great base layer on your serving platter because they’re hidden at first glance, but make for a lovely sweet and juicy surprise to complement everything else.

 

YOU NEED:

For the salad:

      • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
      • 1 Hass avocado
      • 2 Tbs toasted, salted pepita seeds
      • 1/2 your favorite blush apple
      • 1/3 cup goat cheese

For the tarragon dressing:

      • Juice from half a lemon
      • 3 Tbs olive oil
      • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
      • 3 Tbs olive oil
      • Pinch coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
      • handful chopped fresh tarragon
      • 1 Tbs agave nectar

DIRECTIONS

For the tarragon dressing:

  1. Wash tarragon and remove leaves from stems and dice very fine. Whisk lemon juice and mustard together in a bowl. Add and olive oil, sea salt, agave, pepper and whisk again. Add tarragon and whisk again. Or you can forego all the whisking and pulse everything together in a food processor. Set aside.

For the salad:

  1. Cut enough of the base off of each Brussels sprout so that the leaves begin to loosen and unhinge. Discard outer leaves if bruised or stained. Continue to remove as many of the larger leaves from each cabbage as possible, reserving the very centers for another use. Toss leaves in dressing and set aside.
  2. Slice avocado into wedges and slice apples into paper thin slices.
  3. If serving on a platter, place apple slices on the bottom of your platter to create a nice base. If not, simply add apples, avocado and peptic seeds to Brussels and gently toss. Sprinkle with goat cheese.