I recently fell in love with meat-based salad dressings. They make your salad so much meatier. Choose your favorite cured meat, be it bacon, pancetta or some other means of charcuterie, but I like using soppressata because it's nice and fatty, and that fat renders out slightly, enhancing the dressing you're whisking it into. Paired with the crunchy texture of shaved Brussels sprouts, this salad makes a great first course or side dish. You can even use it as a slaw on burgers or sandwiches.
For the soppressata vinaigrette
- 1/4 pound soppressata, cut into fine dice
- 1/3 cup the best olive oil you can find
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sage leaves, finely chopped
For the Brussels sprouts salad
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
- 8 ounces shallots (about 8-10), peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the diced soppressata and fry, tossing occasionally until just crisped and slightly rendered, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the soppressata and any oil that rendered out into a small bowl, then whisk in the olive oil, champagne vinegar and sage while it's still hot.
For the salad:
- Using a small sharp knife (or being very careful with a mandoline), very thinly slice the Brussels sprouts into shreds. Cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then fry the shallots, stirring minimally, until deep brown, about 20 minutes.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts with the dressing and half the shallots, divide into servings and serve garnished with the rest of the shallots.
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