Save oven space and time with this fall-inspired Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries, Pepitas and Parmesan with a lemon parmesan dressing. It’s the holidays, you can never have too much cheese!
Hard to believe it but we are just a little over two weeks out from Thanksgiving. Where does the time go? Have you started to plan your menu yet? The menu planning email from my brother popped into my inbox yesterday afternoon and it’s a big one this year. Our normally large immediate family has grown by 25% this year thanks to a number of special family occasions happening Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the first time in years the Aunts, Uncles and cousins have joined together for a festive family meal that wasn’t a wedding or Bar Mitzvah. Dinner is sure to be delicious, rambunctious and loud!
When feeding so many people though, it’s important to plan the menu ahead, as oven space is at a minimum, especially in a Manhattan apartment! The number of hands helping isn’t the problem, it’s the square footage. I’m sure my family isn’t the only one that deals with this problem every single year.
Then it dawned on me, why don’t we serve more cold foods on Thanksgiving? Practically everything on the menu is warm and it just doesn’t make sense when you’re scrambling for stovetop and oven space.
This is where this shaved brussels sprouts salad fits in. It’s a hearty, fall inspired salad that comes together in a blink of an eye and can be prepped days ahead of time. This means crossing off items on your to-do list (always a great pleasure), freeing up stove space and bringing in a healthy option to the table of deliciously rich foods. Unlike salad greens, shaved brussel sprouts won’t wilt once mixed with the tart cranberries, crunchy pepitas and salty Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I mentioned it feeds a ton of people right? Plus even after the salad is dressed it’ll stay good for a few days, which means bonus lunch leftovers!
Speaking of cheese, let’s talk about it. This salad needs it, otherwise it’s a bit bland let’s be honest chewing on raw brussels sprouts can get a little tiring after awhile. I use Parmigiano Reggiano because it gives this salad a huge boost of umami flavor. The fruity and nutty taste of the cheese compliments the tart, sweet and earthy flavors of the salad.
Of course because it’s the holiday season, adding the cheese in the salad doesn’t end there, it goes into the simple lemon olive oil dressing too. After all, you can’t have too much cheese, especially good cheese! Just make sure what you’re picking up is authentic Parmigiano Reggiano, made in Italy containing only three ingredients, milk, salt and rennet and never any additives. So how do you know you are purchasing imported Parmigiano Reggiano and not the domestic variety? It’s quite easy! First, look for the label stating imported Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, next look at the rind – there should be pin holes along the side and depending on where it is cut it will spell out the word “Parmigiano Reggiano”. Still don’t know for sure? Just ask your cheesemonger to confirm.
This post is sponsored on behalf of Parmigiano Reggiano. As always all opinions are my own and thanks for supporting brands that I work with.