Last week, I headed over to the Studio City Farmers Market to pick up some organic produce for a video shoot I was doing at my friends’ house as part of an oral history project for the Chinese American Museum‘s newest exhibit, “L.A. Heat: Taste-Changing Condiments“, which focuses on art inspired by Sriracha and Tapatio, two divine hot sauces made right here in Los Angeles. (I’m honored to be on the advisory board for this exhibit, which runs now through July 12!)

The videographers asked if there was somewhere we could go that inspired me, and I immediately suggested we head to the farmers market. Walking in with no real idea of what I was going to make—other than knowing I’d be using Sriracha in my recipe—I was struck by the beauty of these purple Brussels sprouts. I’d never tasted them before, let alone seen them! The kind woman at the produce stand told me they were similar in taste to regular Brussels sprouts, but with a slightly sweet note. With that, I couldn’t wait to try them!

Raw green and purple Brussels sprouts

In the interest of keeping prep time to a minimum and nutrients to a maximum, I opted to go with a raw Brussels sprout salad. (It happened to be a pretty hot day outside too, so I was all about not heating up the house by cooking!) I grabbed some mixed greens, a Pink Lady apple, raw walnuts, red onion, garlic, and a lemon, and went to the home of my friends Susie and Gev to bring it all together with some Sriracha, olive oil, and maple syrup. The result? Delicious.

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Sriracha-Maple Vinaigrette
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the dressing:
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons Grade B maple syrup or raw agave nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw coconut aminos, Bragg Liquid Aminos, or low-sodium soy sauce
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, any color
  • 4 large handfuls mixed greens, about 5 ounces
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small apple, preferably a crisp/sweet/slightly tart variety such as Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Jonagold, or Fuji
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Finely mince enough lemon zest—just the outer yellow layer, no white pith—until you get a teaspoon's worth. In a small mixing bowl, juice the lemon and mix the juice with the minced zest, garlic, 3 Tablespoons of maple syrup, Sriracha, olive oil, aminos, and cayenne. Let it sit while preparing the salad.
  2. Cut off and discard the tough end from each Brussels sprout. Tear off individual leaves until only a small core is left. Divide the mixed greens, Brussels sprout leaves & cores, onion, and walnuts evenly between four plates. Taste the dressing, adding a touch more maple syrup if you desire more sweetness, and season with salt and pepper. Quarter the apple and discard its stem and core. Thinly slice the apple and divide it between the four plates. Mix the dressing and spoon it over each salad. Season lightly with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.