Pretty much all of the traditional dishes which take place on the table at Christmas in Sweden contain meet, dairy and gluten which are no longer part of my diet. Therefore I am reinventing Christmas this year. Well maybe reinventing is a big word but I am creating some dishes which me and my family can all enjoy and share on Christmas day. This is my first idea, a salad with brussel sprouts and other greens as well as sweet fruits and nuts to combine many different flavours and textures for a fresh yet Christmas festive dish.
Brussels sprouts is not something which usually appears at my family Christmas dinner so I learned only this year that they are pretty tasty! They are great shaved fresh into salads like a cabbage but for this recipe I chose to roast them which seems like the more traditional way of eating them. And as Christmas is based very much upon tradition and I’m going a little wild in the kitchen with different flavours and ideas at least something should remain to remind us of past Christmases.
As I already mentioned I have gone a little wild and am thoroughly enjoying thinking a little out of the box with this Christmas salad. In Sweden, which for you who don’t know this is my birth place, vegetables are a small part of the Christmas dinner and usually a side which many leaves behind to save space for other delicacies. I aimed with this recipe and as you will see in my other Christmas inspired recipes to put the vegetables centre stage this year. This is one of the reasons for finding flavours that might not have been part of the Christmas tradition earlier. There’s always a first!
I hope you give this one a go and even if it’s not for Christmas I think this salad is a pretty good side to any family meal if you simply tweak the seasoning a little. Maybe leave out the all spice and cloves and maybe add some chilli flakes instead for a fresh and hot alternative.
Serves 4-5 people as a side dish.
Active cooking time 15 min, total cooking time 35-45 min.
250 g brussels sprouts
30 g leaves (I used pea shots, beetroot tops and spinach)
2 red chicory heads
1 persimmon/khaki fruit
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Two handfuls of nuts and seeds of choice (I used almond shavings, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds and pistachios)
Olive oil (for roasting, toasting and dressing)
1 1/2 tsp all spice
Salt and black pepper
A dash of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius and prepare to use an oven tray.
Wash brussels sprouts, remove any yellowed leaves, cut off the stem and halve them.
Place sprouts in oven tray, drizzle with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and place in oven for roughly 25-30 min, mixing half way through. Should be tender on the inside and browned and a little crispy on the outside when done.
Rinse all other ingredients and place leaves in a mixing bowl.
Cut chicory into preferred size and add to leaves along with 2 tbsp olive oil, all spice and salt and pepper. Mix it up and set aside.
Cut persimmon into bite size pieces, removing skin if needed (depends on type of persimmon).
Add persimmon pieces and dried cranberries to the mixing bowl and toss together with the leaves and chicory.
Place a tbsp or two of olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.
Place nuts and seeds in the pan, sprinkle with salt and black pepper as well as a dash of cayenne pepper. Toast until goldened and if using pumpkin seeds until they pop.
When brussels sprouts are finished place the leaves and fruit mixture on a serving plate. Place the brussels sprouts on top of the bed of salad and scatter the toasted nuts on top.