This non-traditional coleslaw consists of uncooked shaved Brussels sprouts which have been tossed with toasted cashews in a homemade tangy and zesty sauce.
I know I have said this about some other vegetables too, but I think Brussels sprouts are one of my favourite vegetables. That is clearly evident with the number of times Brussels sprouts have been used in recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen!
How about you? Do you love them or do you hate them? In our home, I love them, McKenna hates them, and John.e seems to tolerate them. I don’t mind though, because that just means there’s more for me!
I wasn’t always a lover of Brussels sprouts. That was because my first introduction to them was very unpleasant. I’m not sure how it happened, but they were from a packet found in the frozen section at the grocery store. I learned really quickly that fresh was the way to go!
Let’s break down this recipe and talk a bit about how to prepare it. Just so you know, you can prepare this recipe in advance. Just be sure to prepare the sauce and add it to the salad just before serving. Otherwise, the sprouts lose their freshness and tend to wilt.
How to Prepare Fresh Brussels Sprouts
No matter how fresh or how clean the sprouts look, I will always clean them. This is how I do so. First, I use a paring knife to trim off the bottom of the sprout. Don’t take off too much. The stem is edible as well.
Next, I peel off maybe two or three outer leaves and discard them. Then, I plunge the whole sprout into cold water and give them a good swishing around by hand to get any dirt or grime out of them.
Before cooking them, I will be sure to dry them really well. If you leave the water on them, especially if you plan to roast them, the water will steam the sprouts and might prevent a nice char.
For the coleslaw, you will need to shave or thinly slice the sprouts. Start by cutting the sprouts in half lengthwise. Next, lay the cut side down and thinly slice until you get to the very bottom. Add to a bowl and continue to slice until all of your Brussels sprouts are prepared.
Alternatively, once you slice the Brussels sprouts in half, you can shred them in your food processor. This will cut down on the prep time greatly. For the sprouts you see in the pictures, I sliced them all by hand. Call me crazy, but I was too lazy to dirty up my food processor. Besides, I need to practice my knife skills!
How to Toast the Cashews
To be perfectly honest, this applies to any nuts or seeds, not just the cashews for this recipe. If you are not familiar with toasted nuts, then please try it just once. You will probably never revert to using nuts in your cooking or baking again without toasting them first!
I have tried using non-stick frying pans for toasting, but nothing works as well as a stainless steel pan. You could use a cast iron pan, but since they get very hot and retain heat so well, it’s easier to burn the nuts.
See the frying pan in this picture? That’s the exact one that I use all the time. I’m not suggesting you run out and buy this same cookware set, but I wanted you to see the pan – remember, do not use non-stick if possible. You’ll get better results will plain stainless steel.
So, unlike most cooking where you’re required to preheat first, you don’t want to apply that same rule to toasting nuts. Add the nuts to a cold pan. Place the pan on the burner and turn the heat on – no higher than medium and probably even less if using a gas burner.
Keep the nuts moving about. I use a rubber spatula. Once you start to smell that warm and toasty aromatic smell, pay close attention. The nuts will take on a slightly golden colour. Don’t let them get too dark. Once you’re satisfied, immediately remove them from the hot pan and transfer them to a dinner plate where they can be spread out to cool.
Preparing the Dressing
The dressing for this coleslaw couldn’t be more straightforward. I just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together. Remember, you can do this ahead of time, but don’t toss with the sprouts until you’re ready to eat.
You can certainly use low-fat mayonnaise if you prefer. I used full fat, because I prefer it when using it in a dressing. Besides, the Brussels sprouts and cashews are so healthy, they offset the guilt of eating full fat mayo!
Coleslaw is and always has been about personal tastes. The same rule applies here. You may add flavoured vinegar if you prefer. You can increase the black pepper. You can leave out the sugar. Taste the sauce as you go along and you can easily adjust to suit yourself.
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Toasted Cashew and Brussels Sprouts Coleslaw
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced
- 1 cup cashews, toasted
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Start by toasting the cashews. Place the cashews into a stainless steel frying pan. Place the pan on the burner and turn the heat on – no higher than medium and probably even less if using a gas burner.
- Keep the nuts moving with a rubber spatula. Once you smell that warm and toasty aromatic smell, pay close attention. The nuts will take on a slightly golden colour. Don’t let them get too dark. Once you’re satisfied, immediately remove them from the hot pan and transfer them to a dinner plate where they can be spread out to cool.
- While the cashews cool, use a paring knife to trim off the bottom of the sprouts. Peel off maybe two or three outer leaves and discard them. Plunge the sprouts into cold water and give them a good swishing around by hand to get any dirt or grime out of them. Remove them from the water and dry them well with paper towels.
- Cut each sprout in half lengthwise. Slice thinly or use a food processor to shave the sprouts. Once done, add to a large bowl.
- Lastly, add the remaining ingredients to a bowl and whisk together until well combined.
- To assemble, add the cooled cashews to the bowl of sprouts, pour over the dressing and toss well to coat. Serve immediately.
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