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Brussel Sprout and Cauliflower Salad

The first time I had Brussels sprouts was, I think, the Thanksgiving when I was 16. My mom told my brother and I beforehand that she was serving them and I know I made a horrible, ick face. It was the kind of face I hate when picky eaters make – and I’m no picky eater. Nope, I loved broccoli as a kid and, as I devoured everything on my plate, I scoffed at those kids who had to be cajoled into eating “just two more bites” of their vegetables.

But Brussels sprouts are the Frankenstein of the vegetable world. They are the scary food that always appears in children’s stories and cartoons when mean babysitters are forcing food on the poor kids. And I was scared to try them. I don’t even know if I tasted one that day. I mean, it went in my mouth, but there is a strong chance that I swallowed my bite without tasting a thing so I could avoid being haunted by whatever sinister tastes lay within the tiny leafy ball.

Fast forward many years and I’ve become wiser and discovered the errors of my ways. Actually, I just realized I like bitter foods (read: black coffee, dark chocolate, and hoppy IPAs), so I thought, hey, maybe I could ease my way into the world of baby cabbage veggies. I first tried them in a recipe that involved A LOT  of crushed red pepper. I next tried them in a classic way – roasted in bacon grease and served with crumbled bacon. Ahhh can you ever go wrong there.

This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is simpler than those. A caper butter melts over boiled Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, giving them both a delicious, subtle flavor.  Mmmm it’s the kind of winter dish that makes me squirm with happiness because it’s both scrumptious and is safe to have seconds.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Mustard-Caper Salad
From Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 heads cauliflower
2 garlic cloves
Sea salt
6 tbs butter, softened
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup drained capers, rinsed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbs chopped marjoram
Black pepper

Use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic; start with a pinch of salt, but add more if necessary. Once smooth, add garlic to butter, mustard, capers, and lemon zest and mix to combine. Add pepper to taste.

Trim the bases off the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Then slice in half. Cut the cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender, about five minutes more. Drain off water and toss with dijon-caper butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss again.

Picnic tip: A crisp white wine is a good accompaniment to this veggie dish. Keep white wine cold at your picnic with a wine tote.


  1. um, this looks awesome. i know julia ruane would love this..she is all about the brussel sprout.

  2. This looks incredible… will def be trying this the next time I cook!

  3. Made it, ate it, loved it, recommeded it! xxx

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