Brussels sprouts salad with gorgonzola, apples, candied walnuts, and pancetta
Guys, we made it to Friday! Personally, I think we deserve warm, fresh-from-the-oven cookies, but those’ll have to wait. No time. There’s never enough time.
My life recently feels as if I’m competing in a triathlon. For anyone who knows me, this is laughable as I don’t run, bike, or swim very well at all. But no amount of reading or day dreaming could have prepared me for the ups and downs of building a personal brand. Growing a company is like working on an endless jigsaw puzzle; from website development (aka: the bane of my existence), to networking, to realizing that there are only a few hours a day when I can shoot food in optimal light. I’m constantly turning the pieces, desperately trying to make it all fit together. Never in my life have I been so aware of how few workable hours there are in a day. It’s exhausting.
I’ve even found myself adding trivial tasks to my to-do list, hiding amidst innumerable days-long projects, just to have something concrete to cross off. I can’t believe it’s come to this. Am I now fabricating items on my checklist for morale? It would appear so.
To all the women out there who are kicking ass and taking names: thank you for the motivation. I’m working harder, faster, longer now than I have in years. ‘Love’ is not strong enough a word to describe how inspired I feel working towards a goal.
So if this is my new normal, bring it. Full speed ahead, coffee in hand.
How many times have you picked up an ingredient only to completely space out in the kitchen and leave it out of your dish? Please tell me I’m not alone! This phenomenon also happens with leftovers. I place them in a container, shove them in the back of the fridge, and get so wrapped up in who knows what that it’s days later when I’m finally like, WAIT LEFTOVERS. This salad was inspired by an accidental bag of Trader Joe’s candied walnuts. It should go without saying that they would have been the star of my cheese board had I not completely forgotten about their existence. Lucky for me they made a pretty solid come back.
From there, gorgonzola — I wanted to contrast the sweet flavor of the candied nuts. If you find blue cheese or gorgonzola too pungent, look for gorgonzola dolce, which is much sweeter and milder.
Dried cranberries for a little tang, apples for a crisp bite, pancetta because SALT, and brussels sprouts for their hefty, crunchy texture. I leave them completely raw here; cooking them would result in a wholly different dish.
Obviously, you could throw roasted or rotisserie chicken on top and call it a day, but I find the salad is substantial enough without.
And did I mention the cooking time?! It is non-existent (you’re welcome). So today, as I’m battling with my to-do list and overcome, again, by the reality of time moving in double speed, we’ll be having salad for dinner.Print
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, (cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced)
- 1 large apple, (thinly sliced)
- 4 oz pancetta or bacon, (cooked and crumbled)
- ½ cup candied walnuts ((I used store-bought from Trader Joe’s))
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Gorgonzola dolce (crumbled)
- balsamic vinaigrette ((or dressing of your choice))
- 2 hardboiled eggs ((optional))
- Layer together brussels sprouts, apple, pancetta, walnuts, dried cranberries, Gorgonzola dolce, and hardboiled eggs (if using) on a large platter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette or other dressing.