This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Speckled Palante!
Serve Cranberry Feta Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Pecans and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette as a festive side dish this season! Brussels sprouts serve as the base of this unique winter salad. Top the shredded Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries, crisp bacon, feta cheese, candied pecans, then toss in a warm bacon vinaigrette before serving. Slightly sweet, savory, salty and crunchy, this salad is a delicious new way to enjoy Brussels sprouts!
Raise your hand if you’re already inundated with holiday sweets.
Raise your hand if you know it’s going to get worse before it gets better?
Raise your hand if you’re participating in The Sweetest Season Cookie Exchange next week?
How ‘bout we take the Friday before a week filled with butter, flour, sugar and all kinds of holiday baking goodness and make ourselves a salad for lunch?
That sounds good to you?
Because it sounds downright heavenly to me.
Even though this is a salad and we’re choosing to eat this before we dive face-first into all kinds of cookies next week, I’ll be honest: This salad could be healthier.
In fact, I’d venture to say it’s on the unhealthier end of the salad spectrum.
In the spirit of transparency, I’ll reveal the less-than-healthy ingredients before you get too deep into this post: bacon, dried cranberries, feta cheese, homemade candied pecans and a Hot Bacon Vinaigrette.
It’s also chock full of Brussels Sprouts, so that’s gotta count for something.
(Also, please don’t leave a comment saying salads always need to be healthy, and I should be ashamed. You know I love healthy salads as much as the next person, but sometimes, the joy of a salad is in those delightful toppings. And these delightful seasonal toppings make this salad extra delicious.)
I whipped this recipe up in partnership with the lovely folks at Sprouts. In addition to finding it here, you can pick up a physical copy of this recipe in the Sprouts December Deals of the Month flier!
Pick it up today in stores to grab this recipe and a few others that feature December products and holiday goodness. 🙂
I also grabbed all my ingredients from Sprouts, including a gorgeous bag of Brussels sprouts, for this recipe.
Erin’s Recommended Tools/Products for Cranberry Feta Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Pecans and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Please note that some of the links listed below are affiliate links, meaning if you were to make a purchase through one of these links, I would receive a small commission. Thanks for your support of The Speckled Palate!
- Essentials: Mason jar. Nonstick skillet. Serving bowl.
- Get the look!: Threshold White Mini Bowl with Gold Rim. Threshold White Appetizer Plate with Gold Rim. Green ceramic serving bowl. (Similar from Tabletops Unlimited and Noritake.) Red and green plaid dish towel. (Similar from Crate & Barrel.) Riedel Vivant White Wine Glasses. Oneida Countess Servingware.
Let’s whip up this scrumptious salad!
Here’s how it’s done:
- 24 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and chopped finely
- 4 slices Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon, chopped and fried (reserve the fat for the vinaigrette)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- Candied Pecans (see recipe below)
- Hot Bacon Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
- 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup pecan pieces
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons warm bacon fat (from the Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon above)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1½ tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- Black pepper, to taste
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
- While the butter melts, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. This will be used to cool the candied pecans.
- Add the sugar and pecans to the skillet. Season with salt and cinnamon.
- Using a rubber spatula, move the ingredients around frequently so they don’t burn. (Please keep an eye on them. This is not a task where you should be focusing on anything else, as this can burn very easily, especially toward the end of the process.)
- After about 5 minutes, the sugar should begin melting and bubbling.
- Continue stirring until all the nuts are coated, then transfer immediately onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Using the rubber spatula, separate the nuts on the baking sheet so they don’t cool together. If they cool together, you’ll have a hard time breaking them apart.
- The candied coating will harden in about 5-10 minutes, then you can enjoy these!
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and the meat is browned and crisp.
- Remove the bacon from the pan, and set aside for the salad. Leave the fat in the skillet.
- Add the garlic to the skillet, and cook until fragrant. Remove the fat and the garlic from the skillet, and transfer to a mason jar (or another container that can withstand heat.)
- Add the apple cider vinegar to the jar, as well as the Dijon mustard, honey and black pepper.
- Place the cap on the jar, and shake until combined.
- Set aside until time to serve the salad. (If this is made in advance and the vinaigrette cools, reheat in 5-10 second intervals in the microwave until the desired temperature.)
- In a large bowl, combine the trimmed and finely chopped Brussels sprouts, the cooked bacon (from the vinaigrette portion), dried cranberries, feta cheese and the candied pecans.
- Pour on the vinaigrette, and toss using tongs.
- Serve immediately, and enjoy, sprinkling additional feta, candied pecans and bacon on top of the finished salads if so desired.