Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe

Good gracious, I do believe Christmas is a mere seven days away.  I should probably get started on that box of holiday cards sitting next to my desk, what do you think?  I also have a couple of gifts to buy, but that hasn’t been occupying my thoughts as much as food.  Shocking, I know.  There is a lot of food planning that I have going on right now.  First off, United Airlines decided to cancel my 8:30 am flight (reasonable time) to NY and rebook us on a 6:14 am flight (unreasonable, horrible, why-bother-going-to-bed-at-all time.)  So I need to figure out breakfast and lunch for everyone and get that packed the night before.  Let me know if you have any suggestions otherwise I’m making kale salad with quinoa and a bunch of pumpkin muffins and that’s that.

I also need to plan 3 meals a day for the time we’re at my parents’ house.  My sisters come with their little ones and I turn into the culinary director for the week.  I adore my mother, but I don’t think I can handle hearing her ask me every day, “Now what do you want to do for lunch?” (or dinner)  And the last thing I want to do is head out to the market every day in chilly weather without a plan when I could be working on a puzzle and sipping hot tea while a huge pot of veggie chili simmers on the stove.  Ahhhhh……So my plan is to come up with the menu for the week and email my mother the grocery list and we’ll all be sitting pretty.

But the big decision before I leave is what should I bring for Christmas Eve dinner, the biggest potluck of the year?  It’s tricky since I arrive fairly close to the 24th and I don’t have too much prep time.  The other challenge is that I need to make enough to feed oh, about 80 people.  For years and years I brought dessert like cucidati, a Sicilian fig cookie, or gingerbread cake.  Easy enough.  But last year, I felt motivated to get some more veggies on the tables since 80% of the meal seems to revolve around fish of some sort.  So of course I decided to make Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad, one of my favorite salads ever.  Incredibly delicious, super healthful, so seasonal and really pretty.  BUT, probably the most ridiculous salad to make for EIGHTY PEOPLE.  Why?  Because you have to separate all the leaves, blanche them and spin them dry.  I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea.  Oh, wait.  Now I remember.  I thought my darling sisters and my lovely daughters would help me.  Ha.  Ha.  Are you picturing me sitting at the kitchen table for hours on December 23rd all by myself?  Cranky face.

So this year is going to be different.  I’m going to make an equally tasty brussels sprout salad, one that my husband and my daughters are crazy about, but not have to be a slave to the sprouts.  This salad debuted just this year on my Thanksgiving class menu and it has made several appearances at our dinner table.   It’s crunchy and kind of tart-sweet and you have no idea you’re eating brussels sprouts (not that there’s anything wrong with them.)  In fact, they are beyond nutritious and super delicious raw.  This salad even tastes great the next day for lunch boxes.  If you are dairy-free or vegan, feel free to leave out the manchego cheese.  By the same token, do have fun with this salad and substitute feta instead or add pomegranate seeds or your favorite nut in place of the sliced almonds.

Here’s my plan for bringing this to dinner on Monday night:

  • Sunday:  make dressing and refrigerate
  • Sunday:  wash, dry, trim and thinly slice Brussels sprouts and refrigerate
  • Sunday:  shred manchego cheese (I do this on a box grater) and refrigerate
  • Monday afternoon:  cut apples and store in cold water
  • Just before serving:  drain apples and add to sprouts, cheese and almonds.  Dress with vinaigrette and serve.

Ooops.  Forgot one more thing.  Sunday:  Make tea and start 1000 piece puzzle.  Stay in pajamas as desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Serves: 6
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved
  • 1 large crisp apple, cored and cut into julienne
  • ⅓ pound of Manchego cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • Dressing:
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, preferably unpasteurized
  • ½ small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Slice the Brussels sprouts as thinly as possible with a sharp knife. If necessary, you can use the slicing disc on a food processor, but it won’t be super thin. Place in a serving bowl.
  2. Add the apple, Manchego and almonds to the shredded Brussels sprouts.
  3. In a small bowl or in a jar with a screw-top lid, combine all dressing ingredients until emulsified. Add drizzle enough dressing onto the sprouts mixture to coat lightly. Toss to combine well and taste for seasoning.

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  1. I have made this salad several times and I know I have already told you how much I love it but I just had to tell you again that it is one of my favorites. ❤️

    • I will never tire of hearing anyone tell me how much they love a recipe!! 🙂

  2. This salad was crazy delicious!! I am not sure if I should curse you or love you for introducing me to that evil cheese, Manchego. It calls my name every time I open the refrigerator. It added such a creaminess to this salad. I pretty much almost ate the entire bowl that night. If there was anything left in anyone else’s bowls after dinner, I ate that as well. I couldn’t wait to eat the teeny tiny amount that I did save for the next day. I love salad and I love finding ones that are different. I just might be bringing it to the Super Bowl party we are going to. I absolutely can not wait to eat it again. Thank you!

    • Haha! It’s such a delicious cheese, I know. If you shred it or slice it thinly, a little goes a long way! 🙂

  3. Delicious. I used dried cranberries which were very pretty. I’m thinking that next time jicama might work in place of the apple? Any thoughts on that? Thanks!

    • Absolutely! Jicama would be great!

  4. Sounds yummy but we have an allergy to raw apples in the house… any suggestions for a substitution? Thanks!

    • Sure! The apples add a light sweetness which you can either omit entirely or substitute something sweet in its place such as orange segments, dried cranberries or dried cherries.

  5. Hi Pamela,
    Is there a vegan substitute for the parmesan cheese that you can recommend?

    • I use Manchego in this recipe, but to go vegan I would skip the cheese altogether without substituting anything else. The salad is perfectly delicious without it. If you wanted to add an extra ingredient, try something a little salty, like chopped marcona almonds or even a smoked almond. 🙂

      • Ooh! I love the idea of chopped marcona almonds. Can’t wait to try this, thanks!

  6. Now that I’m not the worse cook in the world…I asked each of my kids and husband (all April birthdays) what they would each like for their respective birthday dinners. Top to bottom, Pamela Salzman recipes! From cake…choc. with zucchini…to pumpkin choc. chip bars…from mac n no cheese…to brisket….to buddha bowls…Brussels sprout salad with poppy seed dressing (and that was the 7yr old’s request!). What a special occupation you have crafted! Your fingerprints are all over wonderful life moments of families. Thanks Pamela!

    • Megan! Look how far you’ve come! Let’s see this for what it is. They want all the recipes YOU have cooked for them. Clearly all the credit goes to you! So thrilled if I have helped in any way. 🙂

  7. This has been my favorite salad… Up until I got my goodie bag from Nic this afternoon. LOVE the beet salad. Little party in my mouth, wish I had taken the time to sit and savor instead of eating out of the carton, standing in the corner of my kitchen. Yum!!

    • Good! Sad to miss you in class, but happy you were able to enjoy everything :).

  8. WOW! Was skeptical about raw Brussels, as I always cook them….But this was soooo yummy!! My friend Baelyn told me about you last week and I am already a huge fan! You are so creative and inspiring! I have been experimenting and learning how to cook over the past couple years, so I really love your kitchen essentials section. So thankful to have found your website!

    • Welcome, Eva! So happy you found me! Give Bae a big hug for me~

  9. This was a huge hit at our home on Christmas Eve. We typically serve a simple cabbage salad, made with fresh lemon juice, a touch of sugar and pinch of salt. This was a yummy alternative. For sure, this recipe will NOT be put away until next Christmas. Thank you. Rita

    • That’s great, Rita! My family really enjoyed it too. Happy New Year!

  10. This was a hit today! Sooooo easy. The sprouts did not take long to shred by hand. And I added pomegranate seeds as you suggested. Excellent. No one beleived it was brussel sprouts. Really a wonderful creation. Thank you! Happy holidays Pam!

    • Funny, I made this for the holidays as well and my husband pulled pomogranate seeds from the fridge and started passing them around the table. Everyone loved it with the pomegranates. Maybe I should change the recipe!

  11. Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and joyous New Year! Thank you for making this past year a much more delicious and healthful one for me and many others! I look forward to a new year of more yummy recipes!! Wishing you good travels and all the best. Rafaela

    • How lovely, Rafaela. Thank you. All the best to you as well!

  12. Pamela this salad is wonderfully easy, pretty and everyone loves it. It has been a hit since Thanksgiving. Thanking you again for all your wonderful classes and advise throughout the year. Have a wonderful trip and a very happy New Year. Tina

    • Same to you, my dear!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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