Brussels Sprouts & Bread Cheese with Date Dressing

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I’ve got a little last minute Thanksgiving recipe treat for you all!! It’s a super lovely, super simple salad to adorn your holiday (or regular) table this fall.

I can’t believe I don’t have a true holiday Brussels sprouts recipe on my blog yet. I have a couple great shredded Brussels sprout salads that totally could be brought to Thanksgiving but no recipe for classic roasted sprouts which feels like an absolute crime since I am the one who brings roasted Brussels sprouts to every Thanksgiving dinner always. It’s my favorite non-traditional Thanksgiving side.

Sometimes I do them classically: roasted with a bunch of bacon. Sometimes I get fancy and do a lime glaze. Sometimes I just add them to a salad because I never understand why every Thanksgiving table always seems to lack a green salad. But regardless of how I prepare them (and how much my father-in-law hates them), I keep bringing them along.

This particular recipe is such a fun one because it adds something else often missing from the Thanksgiving meal: CHEESE! Sure, cheese boards before dinner happens frequently (and are in fact a very classy move). But cheese ON the Thanksgiving table seems like more of a rarity. Perhaps most find it to be too much decadence for an already decadent meal? I don’t know. All I know is that it feels very un-Wisconsin of us to not have cheese somewhere on the table.

To moderate the decadence factor, I pair my favorite fun melty cheese* with a salad dressed with a bright fruity date dressing. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel like too much to have cheese included in the meal. It feels just decadent enough. Like every other part of the holiday.

I really hope you love this recipe and that you find your own way to enjoy it. Whether it’s alongside the more traditional Thanksgiving dishes you’re making for you and your immediate family tomorrow or it’s sometime next week because your holiday won’t be including any big meal this year, I hope the flavors make you feel warm, cozy, and celebratory. Have a lovely time tomorrow and try to take a moment to find gratitude for the beautiful things that have come out of a hard year.

All my love,
Leek

*My favorite melty cheese is the infamous Bread Cheese by Carr Valley. It’s a Finnish squeaky cheese that’s semi-soft and stands up to heat well (aka without turning into a puddle-y mess). It’s very salty (and why there is almost no salt called for in the recipe below), pleasantly chewy, and a real fun treat.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS & BREAD CHEESE WITH DATE DRESSING

Takes 45 minutes
Serves 4-6

6 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces bread cheese or halloumi
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts

Date Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced pitted dates
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Balsamic dressing
2 tablespoons water
Pinch salt

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Add Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet and toss with canola oil, salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and roast for 25-30 minutes until browned and crisp (but not burnt).
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a large bowl. You’ll want to make sure both the dates and cloves are cut very small. Whisk to combine until smooth.
  4. Toss the warm Brussels with the dressing and let sit while you warm the cheese.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cut bread cheese into small cubes and warm for 30-40 seconds in skillet, flipping once one side gets melty.
  6. Add warm bread cheese and toasted pecans or walnut to salad. Toss once more and serve right away

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