This Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette has a southwestern kick with cotija cheese, pepitas, roasted corn and bacon.
About a month ago, I was in our neighborhood New Seasons grabbing a rotisserie chicken for a quick lunch and I wanted something to go alongside it – Salad, veggie?… Something to get a bit more nutrition in there. And then I spotted the perfect sounding salad in their deli case – Shaved brussels sprouts tops with lots of grated cotija cheese, crunchy pepitas, roasted corn and crispy pancetta – All with a cumin lime vinaigrette. I was sold.
I mean, that salad was pretty much my spirit animal. It had all of my favorite things going on – Cumin, pancetta, brussels. It was love at first bite, and it was a perfect compliment to the rotisserie chicken, but this salad was definitely hearty enough to be a meal all on its own.
I took bite after bite and started thinking that I needed to set out on a mission to recreate this salad at home. I thought it would be perfect for make ahead lunches during the work week because there’s no lettuce in it which = no sogginess.
I did make a couple changes – Swapping bacon for the pancetta (because I always have bacon on hand) and throwing in some red cabbage for added color. Next was to recreate that yummy dressing – I wanted the cumin flavor to really shine through – because I love its smoky flavor, but I wanted a lot of brightness from the lime too. Using a good heaping spoonful of cumin and the juice from an entire lime gave me that perfect flavor balance that I was looking for. A bit of garlic, pinch of red pepper flakes and good seasoning with salt and pepper finished it off.
Since fresh corn wasn’t currently available, I swapped in some frozen corn and gave it a good char in my skillet. It got just a teeny bit smoky and took on a nice color that way. I can only imagine this salad would be even better with corn that’s fresh cut off the cob, but in all honesty, this salad turned out amazing anyway.
This Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette is currently making work day lunches much more exciting in my world. Crunchy, tangy, smoky, bacon-y, cheesy salad goodness that really would make anyone happy to eat a salad every-single-day-of-the-week.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
- 4 strips bacon diced
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 5 cups thinly sliced brussels sprouts about 1 lb.
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ½ cup finely grated cotija cheese
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tsp cumin
- Pinch of sugar
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sautee bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Remove almost all the fat from the skillet, just leaving a thin coating.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the corn to the skillet – Sautee until it starts to char slightly, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Prepare the dressing by whisking together all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the brussels sprouts and cabbage to a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Top with bacon, charred corn, pepitas and cotija cheese. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairings for Brussels Sprouts:
- With its minerality and hints of stone fruit, a Dry Riesling will pop against the cumin lime vinaigrette on this salad.
- A light Pinot Noir with bright acidity and earthy notes will also compliment the flavors in this salad nicely.