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Aaaah what a holiday! How was yours? Our weekend was surprisingly relaxing, and I’m so thankful for that. Do you ever go through periods where you start to feel less and less like yourself? I found myself in that boat from being sick and letting exercise slip heavily out of my life for the past few weeks. But a few days of sleeping in, having my mom cook for me, and filling myself with good food was the perfect reset button. I got back to my yoga mat on Friday and kicked off another round of Ripped in 30 on Saturday. I’ve already seen a huge change in my mood and am feeling really energized about getting back to it today, and ending the year on a high note. Just a few weeks left! What’s most exciting is that my new site will (finally!) be launching next week. It’s thrilling on so many levels and I can’t wait to share it with you all. In order to make sure things are in tip top condition for the launch, I’ll be taking most of this week off from the blog to finish the new site. I’ll be back on Friday with some final thoughts on this blog, a little bit of the back story on Channeling Contessa, and what’s to come for me for the rest of the year and 2014.

In the mean time I leave you with this killer shaved brussels sprouts salad. I brought this baby to a dinner party this weekend. When I discovered it was going to be served alongside two trays of lasagna made with fresh pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, and homemade sausage from Eataly, I figured I’d be toting home a ton of leftovers. But no such thing! The salad was devoured. It is that good. Here’s to a wonderful week and making the most of the last month of the year!

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Candied Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blue Cheese, Bacon, and Pears
Serves 8-10 people as a side salad ( you can easily half the recipe!)

  • 1.5 pounds brussels sprouts cleaned and thinly shredded (a mandolin is necessary for this)
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 6 slices of cooked bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup cup olive oil
  • 2 T bacon fat (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon French dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon real maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Make the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients but the olive oil. Once combined, slow stream in the olive while whisking so the dressing emulsifies. Taste for seasoning. The dressing should have good bite- salty, a little sweet, and pretty tangy. Add more salt, vinegar, mustard, or maple syrup if necessary.

In a large bowl toss together the shredded sprouts, 3/4 of the pear, 3/4 cup of the blue cheese, 3/4 quarters of the chopped bacon, 3/4 cup of the pecans, and 1/2 cup of the cranberries. Pour 3/4 of the dressing over the salad and toss really well, using your hands if necessary to work the dressing in. Place the salad in a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining cheese, pear, bacon, cranberries, and nuts. Pour the remaining dressing over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Salad can be stored up to four days in the fridge.

 

  1. La Torontoise

    Clara, I look forward to seeing your new site!

    Love this salad, love Brussels sprouts in general, in all cooking styles. And the pictures are so beautiful!

    I’ll do the salad tonight; and to this end, I have two questions:
    - what kind of blue cheese did you include? I’m in France right now, tons of blue cheeses:-) Would a less dominant taste (Gorgonzola) be better than a very dominant one (Roquefort)? Pears work well with both types, but I have never combines Brussels sprouts with blue cheese before…
    - For how many people did you make the salad? And did you use all the dressing? I’ll leave the fat (to make it less caloric), but how much oil would be enough for salad for 2-3 people?

    Thank you so much!!
    All the best this week!

    • Clara

      Hi there! I think a gorgonzola would be pretty nice- the blue I used was pretty mild. I made this salad to serve 8-10 side portions. If you’re making a batch to serve 2-3 people as mains, I’d cut the recipe and dressing in half. If you’re doing less, you could go to a third. That said, the dressing is good on any salad, so you could always make a half batch, use a portion of it, and store it in the fridge for another salad. That’s what I would do!

      • La Torontoise

        Clara, thank you so much! I made a batch to serve 3 people. I added a bit more maple syrup; turned out sublime: -)
        All the best!

  2. this looks AMAZING. can’t wait to try it!

    allie at alliewears.com

  3. Looking forward to seeing the new site! And this salad looks delicious. (Lasagna from Eataly sounds amazing too…what a great dinner party!)

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