Early spring can be a hard time for fresh produce: the farmers’ market is still filled with winter storage vegetables, and there isn’t a lot of greenery around. This salad skirts around that issue by using brussels sprouts instead of more traditional salad greens, and adding in some other fruits and vegetables that you are likely to come across this time of year.
One inspiration for this recipe comes from a cookbook that I used all the time when I was a vegetarian, the ultimate everyday “Skinny Bitch” cookbook. There are a lot of great recipes in there, and in particular there was one that used steamed brussels sprouts as a base. Brussels sprouts are usually served roasted, and have a very dark, earthy flavor. It was so unusual, and so refreshing, to see them served in a way that made them feel light and springy.
Steam the brussels sprouts to your desired texture, but be wary of over-steaming! Their crunch in this recipe is a lovely thing.
I added mint to this recipe on a whim because I found it poking through the newly-warm soil in my backyard. I believe that this variety is “chocolate mint,” which gives it a distinct flavor, not quite as strong as spearmint. I can’t really be sure what kind of mint it is, though! I’m basing my guess off of the memory of having bought a pot of chocolate mint years ago. I can only imagine that I somehow allowed that herb to invade the rest of my garden, where it has been on a slow conquest ever since.
Lastly, to make this salad feel extra-whimsical, I spiralized my radishes! This is an optional step, but I love the texture of vegetables-turned-noodles. The spiralizer I like to use is a Benriner Cook Helper Slicer, which you can find on Amazon (note: this is an affiliate link). I like it because it’s light, comes with different blades for varied-size noodles, and is super easy to use and clean. I used the finest blade for these radish noodles.
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, cut into quarters
- 1 very small head radicchio, cut into ribbons
- 3 radishes, spiralized or thinly sliced
- 2 clementines
- 1/2 cup grapes, cut into disks
- small bunch mint, finely chopped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- pinch of coarse salt
- Fill a broad pot 1" full of water and bring it to a low boil. Place the brussels sprouts in a steamer basket in the pot, cover, and steam for 15-20 minutes, to desired softness. Set aside to cool.
- Once the brussels sprouts are cool, mix all remaining ingredients together in a bowl and serve with a sweet salad dressing (I used our Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette).