And hey, raw Brussels sprouts - well it just feels good for you too. If you have never dared to try them, you may find that raw Brussels sprouts are a bit of a revelation. Crisp, sweet and nutty without the slightest hint of bitterness, they make an excellent ingredient for a Winter salad.
It's funny how most Brussel sprouts recipes begin with a preamble about the fact that most people don't like them. I've done that myself. And yes, while once upon a time, I didn't like Brussels sprouts, I do like them quite a lot now so I can't say whether this salad will convert you. But I will say that given the choice between cooked and raw, I think I would choose raw Brussels sprouts every time.
For this Brussel sprouts recipe, the vegetables you use do need to be very fresh and preferably small with tightly packed green leaves. Flabby, yellow sprouts are sure to disappoint. This salad is enough for 2-4 as a side (honestly - it was only enough for 2 of us but I think we like bigger portions of salad than most).
1/3 cup/50g of whole cashew nuts
250g or about 22-24 small Brussels sprouts
1 small mild red chili
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon of fine sea salt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Heat a frying pan or skillet over a medium heat. Add the cashews (without oil) and cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan regularly to avoid burning until they turn a light golden colour. Allow the nuts to cool completely.
Next prepare the vegetables. Cut the base off each of the Brussels sprouts and remove any loose, outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut the sprouts into thin slices from root to tip and place in a bowl. Chop the chili and add this to the bowl with the Brussel sprouts.
In a separate bowl, whisk the garlic, lemon juice, salt and olive oil together with a fork and pour over the Brussel sprouts. Finally, stir in the cashew nuts and serve.
This Brussel sprouts salad is fine made and dressed a few hours in advance but wait until the last minute to add the cashews or you might find that they get soggy. If you do chill the salad, bring it to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!