I literally wolfed down a version of this salad while eating out with friends last weekend. We met up at a pizza place, but since I’m still avoiding grains and dairy, I scanned the menu for a paleo-esque option. That’s when I spotted the salad with that irresistible combination of brussels sprouts and bacon, although the restaurant described their salad somewhat differently.
The very next day I drove to the market and bought all the necessary ingredients based on my recollection of the prior day’s deliciousness, and a day later, I made my version of the salad. The result? A very enthusiastic thumbs up from my husband who also wolfed his down and asked for seconds. Sadly, there were none. I literally inhaled mine.
Easy to make and easy to alter to your liking, this salad is hearty, nutritious and incredibly flavorful!
If you’re not avoiding eggs (which I am at the moment), add some chopped boiled egg to the mix.
If you’re not avoiding grains, add some homemade croutons made with pain au levain or other rustic bread, brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted.
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 slices of organic bacon
1/2 a yellow onion, cut crosswise 2-3 times and thinly sliced
1 chicken breast (I brined mine in a ziplock bag first using 3 cups water and 2 tsp salt)
Juice of half a lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp quality Dijon mustard
sea salt and fresh-ground pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped (optional)
Croutons from 2 slices of rustic bread (optional, see above)
Preheat the oven to broil. Dry the chicken breast and place in a small baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (skip the salt if you brined the breast). Grill until cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
While the chicken is cooking, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the slices are crunchy in places. Remove the strips and set aside, keeping the fat in the pan. Add the sliced onions to the pan and cook until very tender and nicely carmelized, about 15 minutes.
About 5 minutes before the chicken is done cooking, toss the sliced sprouts with olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and spread on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven below the chicken. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and keep it warm by covering it with foil or another pan. Switch the oven from broil to 400F and continue to roast the sprouts, stirring occasionally, until they’re cooked through and beginning to brown.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until blended.
Slice the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Slice the chicken into bit-sized chunks.
When the sprouts are done, toss everything but the dressing in the large bowl. Add a little dressing (the salad will already be quite flavorful!), toss, taste and dress more if desired.