Coated in a tart-sweet-and-tangy marinade with earthy notes of thyme and sage, this Brussels sprouts salad from The Everyday Vegan Cheat Sheet cookbook is the ultimate expression of fall flavors. But we like to enjoy it any time of year. Smoky coconut bacon and crisp toasted hazelnuts punctuate every forkful with a salty, savory exclamation point.
What you need:
For the coconut bacon:
1⅓ tablespoons soy sauce
1½ teaspoons liquid smoke
1½ teaspoons maple syrup
1½ teaspoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup large coconut chips or flakes
For the Brussels sprouts salad:
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pound Brussels sprouts, finely shredded (about 8 cups)
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
What you do:
- For the coconut bacon, preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, oil, and pepper. Add coconut, and stir with a wide spatula to coat flakes, being gentle to prevent coconut from breaking into small pieces.
- Pour contents, including any excess marinade, into prepared pan. Bake for about 28 to 32 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to cook evenly. The flakes can burn very easily, so keep a close eye on them. Cook until deeply browned all over and highly aromatic. Remove sheet from oven and turn broiler to high.
- For the Brussels sprouts salad, in a medium bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, apple butter, thyme, sage, red pepper flakes, and salt. Set aside.
- Spread shredded Brussels sprouts on top of coconut bacon, completely covering. Keep sprouts in as even a layer as possible. Return to oven, placing on upper rack to bring closer to broiler. Cook for 5 minutes, until very lightly browned around edges.
- Into a large bowl, quickly transfer warm sprouts and coconut bacon. Drizzle with oil mixture and toss thoroughly to combine. Top with toasted hazelnuts and serve immediately.