Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad with Bacon and Candied Pistachios

 Perfect Pairing:  Sheller


I just got back from an absolutely amazing vacation in Cabo with my family and fiance.  It was pretty much perfection.  Here is the obligatory photo dump to prove it!












So now it is back to reality, which means guacamole is not served at every meal and mojitos (no sugar) are not offered at 4 PM for BOGO Happy Hour.  Sigh.

The best part about a spinach salad is obviously the bacon dressing.  I really love the Pioneer Woman’s spinach salad recipe.  She cooks the red onions and mushrooms in a little bacon grease instead of adding them raw.  That is a game changer.
This Brussels Sprout Salad takes its cue from the Spinach Salad since it is tossed with a warm bacon dressing. 


Then the whole thing is topped with crumbled bacon, pears, and candied pistachios.  How about a close-up?


This salad is all about contrast…. Crunchy bacon with soft pears, salty bacon with sweet candied nuts, warm bacon dressing with cold shredded Brussels sprouts.  Hmmm, sounds like this salad is all about the bacon. 


Waaay back at the start of the blog I posted an Asian Inspired Brussels Sprout Salad that was a copycat recipe.  I was trying to recreate a salad I had at a fabulous restaurant in Chicago called Sunda.  That recipe called for quickly stir frying half of the veggies.  If you are not into raw Brussels you could also try that method using some of the leftover bacon grease.  I am sure it wouldn’t suck.

You will need about a half cup of shelled pistachios for this recipe.  I recommend getting a sheller.  No, this is not something you buy at Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.  Mine was my grandma.

One year ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Lemon Cream Pasta

Two years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Slow Cooker Lemon and Garlic Chicken

Three years ago on Perfecting the Pairing: Ham, Cheese, and Asparagus Croissants  & Cherry Cheesecake (Perfect for Valentine's Day!)

Brussels Sprout and Pear Salad with Bacon and Candied Pistachios

Lindsay at Perfecting the Pairing

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tb honey
  • 1 Tb Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tb apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pear, cored and sliced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl whisk the egg white and sugar.  Add the shelled pistachios and toss to coat.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the coated pistachios in a single layer.  Bake for 18-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the egg white sets.  Allow to cool.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crispy.  Drain on paper towels, then crumble.  Reserve about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon grease.  Trim the ends off of the Brussels sprouts and shave as thinly as possible using a sharp knife.  Transfer sprouts to a large bowl. 

In a small bowl combine about 2 tablespoons of the warm bacon grease (more to taste), honey, Dijon mustard, and vinegar.  Whisk to combine.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the Brussels sprouts and toss to combine.  Top the salad with the sliced pear and crumbled bacon.

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