Balsamic Brussels Sprout Salad

Up here in Canada, we are coming out of hibernation. We see the light at the end of the tunnel which has been a long, dark winter with COVID restrictions. With the changing weather also comes spring and summer time recipes! This week it is a delicious balsamic Brussels sprout salad with marinated tofu. 

Typically Brussels sprouts may not be the best green for making salads since they can be tough when they are raw. However, in this recipe, we very quickly saute them with garlic and shallots. Not only do they become a bit softer (without losing their crunch), they also become much tastier. This makes a great weeknight recipe and can keep a few days to eat as lunch. 

Active time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Tofu & marinade

  • 1 Block of extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Salad

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, seperated
  • 3 shallots, sliced into thin semi-circles
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. First, press your tofu for 15-20 minutes before you begin cooking to remove moisture. While it is draining, make the marinade. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, a generous pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper and combine. Cube the tofu into small bite sized pieces and let soak in the marinade. 
  2. Now we will shave our Brussels sprouts. There are many different ways to do this, each requiring a different amount of effort. 
    • The first and easiest way is to use a food processor. Simply cut the stems off the Brussels sprouts and process using the slicing blade. 
    • Another way is to do it with a mandoline. Set the slice size to roughly a quarter of an inch and thinly slice the Brussels sprouts holding them by the stems (careful for your fingers!)
    • It’s not an issue if you don’t have a food process nor a mandoline – a knife will do just fine. Thinly slice the Brussels sprouts so we have “shreds”
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven on medium-low heat. Once hot, add in the slivered almonds and toast, stirring frequently until they are golden and toasted. Set them aside in a large salad bowl. 
  4. To the same pan, add in 2 tbsps of olive oil. Add in the shallots and the garlic and saute until fragrant: 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the Brussels sprouts (the pan will be very full, but the Brussels sprouts will reduce in size) and a few generous pinches of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring frequently. We want to just soften them up a bit, but also want to maintain the crunch. Once complete, set aside in the large salad bowl. 
  5. Return the pan and now turn up the heat to medium high. Add in the tofu along with its marinade. Cook for 10-12 minutes until the marinade has evaporated away and the tofu has begun to crisp on the sides. 

While the tofu cooks, combine the balsamic, honey and remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Once the tofu is complete, add to the large salad bowl and toss with the Brussels sprouts and the almonds. Add in the dried cranberries, feta and the dressing and toss again; taste for salt levels and adjust accordingly. Can be enjoyed immediately while still a bit warm or be left to cool. 

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