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This salad has so much going on it actually feels kind of joyful. That is quite a thing to say about a dish made with Brussels sprouts, I know, but it’s true. The sweet-tart crunch of the apple is such a terrific contrast to the earthiness of the Brussels sprouts, and then the whole thing is punctuated with shards of salty, nutty Parmesan. Every bite is a little bit different from the one before — it’s hard to stop eating!

You could play around with the fruit — both fresh and dried — changing things up with the time of year. Pears would be good, peeled orange segments, grapes; if you are a fan of fruit in salad, this would be a good place to experiment.

I love Brussels sprouts prepared this way year-round. This salad works for a fall or winter dinner. They are a great addition to your Thanksgiving table they would be welcome at a picnic, and they hold up beautifully on buffets, whatever the season. A beautiful cold-weather dinner would be this salad with Turkey Marsala and some Apple Crisp for dessert.

Red-rimmed white bowl of Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino and Apple Salad.

Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino and Apple Salad: This substantial salad is kind of joyful, with loads of different textures and flavors combining in every bite.

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Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino, and Apple Salad Ingredients

The ingredient list for this Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino, and Apple Salad recipe is pretty short!

Brussel sprouts, apple, lemon, and other salad ingredients
  • Brussels sprouts – Raw Brussels sprouts taste fresh and have a great crunch, making them a perfect base for this wintry salad.
  • Green apple – You can slice the apple any way you like, or cube it, but I like small, very thin slices.
  • Pecorino Romano – You can use grated Pecorino Romano, but I really like it shaved super thin, which you can do with a vegetable peeler. No need to worry about making the pieces the same size or breaking — all that is part of the pleasure of this salad, where every mouthful feels a bit different from the one before and the one after. You can also purchase shaved Pecorino Romano or, alternately, Parmesan in good cheese sections of grocery stores.
  • Dried fruit – Cranberries, cherries, or chopped dried apricots all work perfectly here.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Good quality olive oil will shine in this simple salad dressing.
  • Lemon juice – Instead of vinegar, I add lemon juice to the dressing for a fresher citrusy flavor and that little bite of acidity.
  • Shallot – Super thinly sliced shallots almost disappear into this salad, giving an oniony flavor without any harshness.
Woman tossing a Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino and Apple Salad with dressing.

How to Make Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino, and Apple Salad

  1. Shred the Brussels sprouts: Trim the bottoms from the Brussels sprouts and slice them thinly. You can use the slicing blade of a food processor, a sharp knife and cutting board, or a mandoline. Then, place them on a cutting board and give them a rough chop.
  2. Make the salad: Place the Brussels sprouts, apples, Pecorino Romano, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dress and serve: Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine well. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
Woman pouring dressing over a bowl of Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino and Apple Salad.

Tips

  • To slice the apple into small thin slices, just cut two flat almost-halves from the apple, just on either side of the core. Place the halves on a cutting board, slice them in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slivers. Cut the two remaining side chunks from the apple core and slice them crosswise thinly as well. You can also just cut the apple into quarters, core them, and then slice them crosswise.
  • If you want to use grated Pecorino Romano, that’s fine, but adding cheese that has been shaved super thin offers a really nice texture and generous bites of Pecorino. Simply peel off thin slivers of the cheese with a vegetable peeler. Don’t worry about the pieces breaking or being of similar size. You can also purchase shaved Pecorino or Parmesan (a good substitution) in many grocery or cheese stores.

FAQs

How do you shred Brussels sprouts?

There are three great ways to shred Brussels sprouts: in a food processor, with a mandoline, or simply with a knife and a cutting board. If you doubt your knife skills, a food processor with the shredding blade is your best bet, as your sprouts will get shredded finely. If you have a mandoline at home, this is a perfect way to use it. You will get super thin shreds every time. If you don’t have either of these tools, a knife will do just fine. Regardless of which method you use, I recommend giving them a rough chop with a knife afterward anyway to make sure all of the pieces are small and forkable.

Should you serve salad at Thanksgiving?

There has been some controversy about whether or not salad belongs on the Thanksgiving table. Some people prefer to omit it, as there are too many other dishes to cook, and the salad is often an afterthought.

For me, though, it’s a necessity. I think a fresh salad offers a welcome respite from the heavy and rich dishes that make up the rest of the Thanksgiving meal. This shredded Brussels sprouts salad with Pecorino and apples is perfect because it kills two birds with one stone: you get salad and Brussels sprouts in one dish. Also, this slaw salad has dried cranberries and apples, which make it feel very autumnal.

Can you eat Brussels sprouts raw?

Yes, you can eat Brussels sprouts raw. In fact, it is one of the best ways to eat them! According to the USDA, Brussels sprouts are high in many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, and glucosinolates, which are known to prevent cancer. Raw Brussels sprouts also have less of that signature earthy flavor that tends to put people off of the vegetable entirely. If you have a family full of Brussels sprout skeptics, try this salad and see if you can convert them!

What to Serve With Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino, and Apple Salad

Buffalo Turkey Burger Sliders

Fall-Apart Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary, Mustard and Garlic

Simple Lemon-Garlic Roasted Turkey Breast

Bowl of Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino and Apple Salad on a wooden table.

More Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipes

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Brussels Sprouts, Pecorino, and Apple Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 People
This substantial salad is kind of joyful, with loads of different textures and flavors combining in every bite.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 green apple (cut into thin 1-inch pieces(
  • ½ cup very thinly shaved Pecorino Romano
  • ½ cup dried cranberries (or cherries or chopped dried apricots)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large shallot (halved and thinly sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Instructions 

  • Trim the bottoms from the Brussels sprouts and slice them thinly using the slicing blade of a food processor, a sharp knife and cutting board, or a mandoline. Place them on a cutting board and give them a rough chop with a sharp knife.
  • Place the Brussels sprouts, apples, Pecorino Romano, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl or container, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine well. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Notes

  • To slice the apple into small thin slices, just cut two flat almost-halves from the apple, just on either side of the core. Place the halves on a cutting board, slice them in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slivers. Cut the two remaining side chunks from the apple core and slice them crosswise thinly as well. You can also just cut the apple into quarters, core them, and then slice them crosswise.
  • If you want to use grated Pecorino Romano, that’s fine, but adding cheese that has been shaved super thin offers a really nice texture and generous bites of Pecorino. Simply peel off thin slivers of the cheese with a vegetable peeler. Don’t worry about the pieces breaking or being of similar size. You can also purchase shaved Pecorino or Parmesan (a good substitution) in many grocery or cheese stores.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 314mg, Potassium: 358mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 621IU, Vitamin C: 70mg, Calcium: 122mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Comments

  1. Question Brussel sprouts don’t need to be cooked?
    Just question not a review, as sounds interesting.

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