Knock Your Socks Off Fall Harvest Salad

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Happy Tuesday Friends!

I have been busy combing the interwebs for Thanksgiving inspired recipes.  I have been obsessed with butternut squash lately but when I saw the gorgeous brussels sprouts and perfect pomegranate at the store, my focus shifted.  I wanted to create a beautiful salad using these components.  I was not at all prepared for how well it all came together and the barrage of compliments from my family last night at my Mom’s birthday dinner.

The layers of flavor in this one hit wonder will leave you wanting more.  The tender leaves of the brussels sprouts, bright bursts of the pomegranate, smokey peppered bacon bites, and the crunchy glazed walnuts all bathed in the peppery, mustardy vinaigrette dressing….oh my.

Here are the players for the salad base minus the bacon because I came up with that addition while I was making the salad:

Fall Harvest Salad

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 pomegranate, about 1/2 cup jeweled seeds
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced paper-thin on mandolin
  • small head of green cabbage
  • 3/4-1 cup glazed walnuts
  • 3-4 pieces peppered bacon

Before you dive into making the salad- go ahead and make the super simple dressing so it can come together while you prep the salad

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar (I like my vinaigrettes strong so you can use less if you don’t want a strong vinegar taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (use fresh if you can but I didn’t have any so the plastic lemon will do)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Penzey’s Country French Vinaigrette base (buy here)

Put all the ingredients into an airtight container and then treat it like the shake weight and get your workout

**TASTE THE DRESSING TO MAKE SURE IT IS SEASONED CORRECTLY BEFORE YOU SET ASIDE**

Let’s get started on the salad

Cut your cabbage in half and thinly slice around the core- 1 used about 3/4 of the cabbage- it was a small head- you want the star of this show to be the brussels sprouts

How cute is this?  A wittle bitty baby cabbage

You need to chop off the ends and remove and course/damaged/dirty leaves

Then place them in a bowl of water to open them up a little and it let me get all the pretty outer leaves off to place in the bowl with the sliced cabbage.  Then slice the brussels sprouts

Then you will thinly slice the apples- my fav blogger Kristen, IowaGirlEats, shows the perfect way to slice apples

Click here to learn how to perfectly slice your apples

You will also now want to slice your onions on your mandolin and if you don’t have a mandolin you can use a vegetable peeler- but please be careful!  The point is you want those onions paperthin….you don’t want them to overtake this salad

I am sorry I don’t have a picture but apparently my ginkgo biloba wasn’t working….maybe I should ask for my money back…hmm

This is point where you need to pour the Mustard Vinaigrette over the apples, onions, brussels & cabbage and let it marinate for at least 3 hours.  This process really helps the flavors come together and the cabbage & brussels soften a bit.

~~2 1/2 hours later~~

Over low heat cook a couple of slices of peppered bacon.  The low heat helps with too things 1) it does not splatter all over your cooktop 2) allows the bacon to caramelize – drool

Here is the best peppered bacon I have ever had –  BACON 

Now is Nueske’s Peppered Bacon a requirement?  No, but I couldn’t very well go on in life harboring that secret…whew, I feel cleansed.

p.s. you will want to make extra as a BLT may be in your future after making said bacon

Look at this beautiful pomegranate

If you have never had a fresh pomegranate- you must run out and buy one NOW!  They are a lot of work to get the beautiful jeweled seeds out and the juice will stain everything…but my friends it is beyond worth it!!

I want to make these into jewelry for me to wear they are so so beautiful

And the burst of sweet flavor- OH MY GOODNESS

To finish assembly of the salad- chop up the bacon and toss it with the salad.  On top sprinkle the glazed walnuts and the pomegranate and it will look freaking AWESOME!

The looks will get you in the door but the flavor will have them asking for more at your next get together!

This is going to be on our table for Thanksgiving~ hope to see it on yours:)

Are you trying out any new dishes for Thanksgiving this year?

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