Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pistachios & Warm Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette

131124 brussels sprouts salad 2

You think your Thanksgiving menu is set? You’re going to want to change it.

I humbly present your new favorite Thanksgiving side—fresh and crisp thanks to shredded raw Brussels sprouts, with salty nuggets of bacon and crunchy, toasted pistachios, all tossed in a warm, tangy, faintly sweet dressing made with some of that bacon fat (oooo), apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup. I ate—no, devoured—the inspiration a few weeks ago at Pies ‘n’ Thighs, a Southern-inflected Williamsburg favorite. This weekend I tinkered and tested until I came up with a version that’s so irresistible, my Brussels sprouts-hating husband had seconds.

You read that right: It’s so good, it converts even the haterz.

Happy Thanksgiving, all! I’m knee-deep in a variation on last year’s theme—we’re doing a small feast here, so I’m handling almost all the cooking. What are your plans?

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pistachios & Warm Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

Note: You can use turkey bacon here if you prefer—on occasions other than Thanksgiving I probably will. You’ll need to add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the dressing in place of the bacon fat, and accept that the smoky, bacony flavor won’t be as pronounced.

4-6 strips bacon (depending on how much you love bacon)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Pinch of salt & plenty of freshly ground pepper
1 pound Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, thinly shredded (I used a mandoline)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted pistachios

  1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. When crisp, drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat.
  2. Quickly and carefully add the vinegar and maple syrup to the skillet—if your pan is super-hot it’ll sputter and steam. Add the salt & pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Add the shredded sprouts and toss quickly. Transfer to a large bowl and crumble the bacon into the bowl—leave some sizable pieces—and add the pistachios.
  4. Toss once more and serve. If you prefer something a little more slaw-like, let it sit for 30 minutes before serving.

MAKE BABY FOOD: Sorry, this isn’t for the under-one crowd.