I am extremely fortunate to be in a dietetic internship that satisfies my love of traveling and trying new things through a variety of rotations in different locations. My most recent rotation was at a hospital in Chicago. Not only did I realize that I enjoyed clinical dietetics–something I previously wasn’t so sure about–but I had a fantastic time in Chicago hanging out with family and friends I don’t regularly get to see!
While in Chicago I was also able to eat at some amazing restaurants. One such restaurant was Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba, a tapa spot with a thirty year reputation for reliably providing delicious spanish cuisine. Not only did Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba satisfy the craving I’ve had for patatas bravas since my trip to Barcelona, but it introduced me to an AMAZING salad. The salad consisted of shaved brussels sprouts, almonds, and manchego cheese with a light dressing that perfectly complemented the heavier bread and potato dishes we had also ordered.
Weeks later I still can’t stop thinking about this salad–yes, it was THAT GOOD. Back in Cleveland and unable to get my fix, I’ve attempted to recreate it. The dressing I made isn’t exactly the same and I added kale, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad Recipe
3-4 cups shaved brussels sprouts (can buy pre-shaved)
1 cup kale, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup carrots, julienned
1/4 of a large onion, finely diced
1/4 cup almonds, roasted and chopped
1/4 pound manchego cheese, shaved
1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic (1 small clove)
salt & pepper to taste
Notes on ingredient preparation:
- You want the onion to be finely diced to achieve the onion flavor without any big bites of onion. Alternatively you could grate the onion.
- The manchego cheese is, in my opinion, the star of this salad and worth the extra few dollars. But, if necessary you could substitute parmesan. The cheese could be grated instead of shaved, but I like the bigger chunks of cheese.
- Roasting the almonds is a must-do. To roast, put almonds in a skillet on medium heat (no oil needed) until start to brown and be fragrant, about 3 minutes. Alternatively, place on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min at 375 until brown and fragrant. The almonds might also start to “crackle.”
1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Toss salad with dressing. This salad is tasty right after preparation, but this is one of those salads that is even better after it has sat for a little while because the sprouts and kale get softer and more flavorful as they absorb the dressing!