Shaved Brussels Sprout Christmas Salad

Many of the recipes that we prepare for Christmas each year are pretty unorthodox. Maybe that goes without saying, as vegetarian dishes generally are quite rare in these merry times of poultry, pig and meatballs. But I have a feeling that some of the dishes from our previous Christmases surprised Santa quite a bit. Our general rule is that if you add a dash of saffron or cinnamon to any dish, it will qualify on our Christmas table.

Strangely enough our unorthodox methods doesn’t correlate with the recipes that we have in our archives from past Decembers. Many of them are surprisingly traditional. You will of course find a few odd birds like saffron falafel, bulgur and rose hip truffles, but some of our most unexpected recipes (Turkish lemon salad!) are yet to be published. We’ll save those for next Christmas.

Today’s recipe actually has all the classic xmas greens (brussels sprout, kale, orange, pomegranate), but prepared and flavored in a not so classic way (raw, shredded and with a tahini dressing). It has already made its way onto a few pre-Christmas dinners of ours, and hopefully it will also make it into your kitchen on the night of the 24th or 25th. You will find the recipe at the bottom of this post.

To give you some more inspiration for a Greener Christmas we have also listed a few favorites from our archive.

Christmas morning
Baked Saffron Pancakes & Forest Berry Jam
Winter Buckwheat Porridge
Christmas Granola

Dinner table
Crispy Red Cabbage & Orange Salad
Saffron Bulgur with Vegetables
Black Quinoa, Kale & Apple Salad
Cinnamon Roasted Vegetables
Baked Saffron Falafels in Red Cabbage Wrap
Spiced Spinach & Mushroom in Almond Tartlet
Millet & Pumpkin Millet Salad

Warm Spicy Apple & Carrot Drink
Blueberry Christmas Glögg

Cookies & sweets
Vegan gingerbread
Rose Hip Christmas Truffles
Cinnamon & Chocolate Covered Nuts
Chili, Chocolate & Date Truffles
Pomegranate, Raspberry & Thyme Jam
Frozen Pomegranate & Cashew Cake
Saffron Buns

Shaved Brussels Sprout Christmas Salad
Serves 4-6 as a side dish

300 g brussels sprouts
3-4 kale leaves
3 oranges
1 pomegranate
150 g walnuts or hazelnuts

2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsb honey
1 tbsp dijon
2 tbsp orange or lemon juice
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Prepare the dressing, by whisking all ingredients in a small bowl, set aside. Rinse the brussels sprouts, pick the outer leaf and shred very finely with a sharp knife (be careful) or use a food processor. Rinse the kale and shred very finely. Place shredded brussels sprouts and kale in a large bowl.

Now you have two options:
1. Use your hands to massage the shredded greens with the dressing for 5-10 minutes or until it becomes soft.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the shredded greens and blanch them for no more than a minute, pour into a colander and rinse immediately in cold water. Then pour the dressing over the shredded greens, toss well to coat.

Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan on medium heat until browned and crispy, be careful not to burn them. Peel and cut the oranges into small wedges and prepare the pomegranate. Place nuts, oranges and pomegranate seeds in the bowl and toss with your hands to mix. Serve right away or let sit for an hour, nice both ways.

Ps. The App Store recently included Green Kitchen for iPad in App Store Best of 2012. We were even selected as App of the Year Runner Up in Canada, England and Scandinavia. We are super giddy and proud of this! But also so very thankful to all of you who have bought it, reviewed it and emailed us feedback on how to make it better. During next year we will make some major improvements to it, you just wait …

Before we leave you we also wanted to thank you for all your sweet comments on our Saffron Bun video. We will definitely try to make a few more of those next year.

Merry Christmas and lots of love!


  • Adrian
    Made this for a late Sunday family brunch. It was incredible. Making it took a while, but it was so calming and fun. Definitely making this again
  • I never thought brussel sprouts could be so attractive. That dish looks absolutely stunning! Might be a bit late but I am definitely trying this one out.
  • I'm always up for a recipe that needs a massage. ;-)
  • Hey, what an awesome looking Christmas menu, love to see people on the same page about food and sharing their joy and passion for more than just flavor. I am currently rallying friends and family to understand the importance of it all This is it through my lense Alice :)
  • This is perfectly beautiful
  • I love to serve a fresh salad with otherwise heavy holiday meals. This shaved brussels sprouts salad is just beautiful, and, I'm sure, quite delicious. I usually do a maple dijon dressing with my brussels sprouts, but I love your use of tahini here. I'll have to switch up my menu!
  • Jenny
    I'm making this salad on Christmas Eve. Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for all your fantastic recipes!
  • Funny, we're doing a warm chopped brussel sprout side for Christmas. It's the only way my father will touch them, though I love their nutty bitterness. Pancetta and mustard always helps warm greens when men are involved, but nuts for vegetarians also works nicely as you've demonstrated.
  • Beautiful festive food that feeds the eye as well as the body. I love that you massage the vegetables. Ooh la la! Happy Christmas from an unseasonably warm Scotland
  • Marie
    Tusind tak for en fantastisk blog - det er min yndlings madblog, og jeg glæder mig så meget til jeres kogebog udkommer. Jeg faldt over denne fine anmeldelse af jeres blog, som jeg lige vil linke til jer: Glædelig jul og godt nytår til jer alle tre.
  • What a vibrant, beautiful salad. I have an old standby raw brussel and kale salad that has become a staple at Thanksgiving dinner. I love the pop of the red and orange fruit. Can't wait to try it. Happy Holidays!
  • This is such a beautiful salad! I love trying different preparations of Brussels sprouts. Merry Christmas to your family!
  • Such a festive salad for the Holidays indeed! Thank YOU for inspiring us with your creative, nutritious and delicious recipes. I made your Saffron Buns 3 times already this week (your original version, the version with my starter (turned out yummy though needed a longer time for resting & proofing) & this morning I made the kids friendly version meaning dairy free, nut free, soy free with a dash of saffron & cinnamon for my daughter's friends from ballet class. Of course all the little girls LOVED the buns as well as their Moms & teachers too. I sent them to your post for the recipe. :-) Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy Healthy New Year to you 3 from the corner of our home in West Chester, Pennsylvania. XO
    • Dear Ketmala! Thank you so much, always love your comments! Glad that everyone liked the saffron buns :-) Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & your family!
  • I agree with you on saffron and cinnamon. And that salad sounds one of a kind!
  • This salad is GORGEOUS! Love these photos. All your holiday offerings sound amazing. I want to cook your entire blog. :)
  • sally alexandrine
    i can't wait to try it, is there another ingredient i can use instead of the dijon mustard? garlic salt, maybe..? i'm not sure it's going to fit the salad. would like to hear your ideas :)
    • You can leave it out, maybe add a bit more tahini and oil and a pinch of salt & pepper. Merry xmas /Luise
  • Alicia
    WOW! I think I just found my Christmas dish to bring ;)
  • This is one of my favorite ways to prepare brussels sprouts -- bright green, gorgeous raw ribbons!
  • Yum! such a good looking salad!
  • Beautiful, the food and the photos. Will use these flavours in a summer version for a Southern Hemisphere Christmas.
  • I was looking forward to seeing this recipe after your instagram photo. I looks just perfectly fresh for our Christmas menu. Thank you so much for sharing!
  • Thank you for links to all of your other festive recipes! This will be my 3rd Christmas as a vegetarian. The holidays have become increasingly easy.
  • This salad is just as pretty to look at as it is to eat. Beautiful! We have a pretty meaty Christmas with my family no matter what route we go [generally sandwich/snacks/not cooking on Christmas Eve and Mexican food on Christmas Day]. I'd love to incorporate this salad to Christmas Eve!
  • Yep, this ticks the Christmas box beautifully, full of dark leafy greens, with fresh winter citrus. Yum!
  • emily
    That first shot of the ingredients is simply amazing! The salad sounds wonderful. Love the tahini twist.
  • Interesting to see a meat-free christmas menu. I like the saffron and cinnamon idea.

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