The Big Guy says that he could run a marathon after all the carbs we’ve been eating. I guess that’s my cue to make more salads! But in the dead of winter, when all you want is something warm and comforting, a salad has to be super satisfying. And this Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cornbread Croutons totally is.
It’s fully loaded with tender sprouts, tart cranberries, sweet and crusty cornbread croutons and creamy Gorgonzola cheese. There’s a lot to love in this one.
How to get tender, mild Brussels sprouts
I am a big fan of Brussels sprouts to begin with. A simple toss with quality olive oil and kosher salt and a deep roast until they’re almost black… I’ll just pop ’em like popcorn. But when you shred them, they get even better. For this Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cornbread Croutons, we are going to blanch the sprouts to eliminate any bitterness.
Blanching vegetables is simple. Just drop the vegetable into a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Then immediately plunge it into a big bowl of ice water. In addition to reducing any naturally occurring bitterness in vegetables like Brussels sprouts and broccoli rabe, blanching also gives the vegetable a bright, beautiful color.
Making the easy Cornbread Croutons
Making the cornbread croutons for this salad is the same as making any kind of croutons. The key is drying the bread out as much as you can. And you do that by letting the bread cubes sit in the oven on a low temperature for about an hour or two. Since cornbread has more moisture than say, sourdough bread, you may need to let the croutons dry out a little longer in the oven. Just pop the oven open from time to time and give the croutons a feel. Remove them when they’re nice and crispy.
Buying a loaf of cornbread at the market is the easiest way to make these croutons, but making it at home is better. Try my Honey Cornbread recipe. It’s easy and so very good.
The dreamy Maple Dijon Dressing
So much of the satisfaction of a salad comes from a good dressing. Don’t you agree? And I consider this Maple Dijon Dressing to be the quintessential winter time dressing. The Dijon mustard lends a creaminess without adding fat. And the earthiness of fresh rosemary is a nice balance to the sweet croutons and cranberries.
You can serve this Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cornbread Croutons with the sprouts warm or cold. I personally love them warm. Serving them warm just makes this salad feel like dinner, you know? Either way, I hope you love it as much as we do. Let me know what you think – drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cornbread Croutons
- 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
- 4 cups cornbread cubed
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1 cup candied pecans
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place cornbread cubes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Bake until dry and crispy, at least 1 hour.
- Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts. Using a knife, slice into thin strips. Alternately, shred them using the grater attachment of a food processor.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Drop the Brussels sprouts into the boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Then, immediately plunge them into the ice water for 1-2 minutes. Drain.
- Make the dressing: Whisk the mustard, maple syrup and vinegar together. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the vegetable oil. Stir in the rosemary.
- Divide the Brussels sprouts, croutons, pecans, cranberries and cheese among 4 entree dishes. Drizzle with dressing and serve.