Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Raw Brussels & Avocado Salad in Tarragon Dressing.

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Raw Brussels & Avocado Salad in Tarragon Dressing., Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

A lot of people are funny about brussles sprouts. If you don’t believe me, try bringing a plate of them to an office potluck and see what happens. I’m done trying to figure out why, but I’m sure it has to do in most cases with somekind of childhood trauma. My standing theory is that if you don’t like brussles sprouts, you’ve just never had them cooked correctly. Or in the case of this raw brussles sprouts salad, not cooked at all!

brussels salad 4 honestfare.com

These sweet mini cabbages are great eaten raw – extra crunchy and refreshing. And separating the leaves is not only beautiful, but makes them perfect little cradles for dressing and all the other good stuff in this salad. Brussles are tight little bundles so I find that the best way to separate them is to trim their bases off to loosen them at the joint a little. The outer leaves are typically beat up and tough so you can toss those, and then just proceed to unfold each little cabbage one or two leaves at a time. Reserve the very centers for another use if they are too tight to open up.

brussels salad tarragon dressing honestfare.com

To brighten these babies up I went with a tangy dressing made with lemon and fresh tarragon as well as a hint of Dijon mustard for extra depth. You can whip up the dressing with a whisk or take it a step further by tossing all the ingredients into a food processor or blender for a fluffier textured dressing.

brussles salad pepitas honestfare.com

The pepitas are nice because they’re such a tender seed, which is nice here since the brussles are already crunchy enough. The avocado and goat cheese soften and smooth things out in all the right places, unfolding and coating each raw leaf as you work your way through the salad.

brussels salad 3 honestfare.com

I’ve made a couple versions of this salad – with goat cheese and without, with apple and without. Good both ways. I will say that the paper-thin slices of apple are a great base layer on your serving platter because they’re hidden at first glance, but make for a lovely sweet and juicy surprise to complement everything else.

brussels salad 2 honetfare.com

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Cook + Prep time: 30 mins. Serves 4. Reserve the very centers of the Brussels for another use if you can’t remove all the leaves. You can add quinoa to this salad for extra substance!

You need:

For the salad:

    • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
    • 1 hass avocado
    • 2 Tbs toasted, salted pepita seeds
    • 1/2 your favorite blush apple
    • 1/3 cup goat cheese

    For the tarragon dressing:

    • Juice from half a lemon
    • 3 Tbs olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 3 Tbs olive oil
    • Pinch coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
    • handful chopped fresh tarragon
    • 1 Tbs agave nectar


For the tarragon dressing:

  1. Wash tarragon and remove leaves from stems and dice very fine. Whisk lemon juice and mustard together in a bowl. Add and olive oil, sea salt, agave, pepper and whisk again. Add tarragon and whisk again. Or you can forego all the whisking and pulse everything together in a food processor. Set aside.

For the salad:

  1. Cut enough of the base off of each Brussels sprout so that the leaves begin to loosen and unhinge. Discard outer leaves if bruised or stained. Continue to remove as many of the largerleaves from each cabbage as possible, reserving the very centers for another use. Toss leaves in dressing and set aside.
  2. Slice avocado into wedges and slice apples into paper thin slices.
  3. If serving on a platter, place apple slices on the bottom of your platter to create a nice base. If not, simply add apples, avocado and peptic seeds to Brussles and gently toss. Sprinkle with goat cheese.



  1. Posted January 14, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    Looks delicious! I actually prefer eating Brussels in their raw state rather than cooked, so this is perfect for me. :)
    Thank you for the idea!

  2. Jenny
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    I LOVE brussels sprouts! I guess I had the opposite of a childhood trauma, my mom makes the best brussels sprouts EVER :-)
    I have never had them raw though. Will definitely try this tonight, thanks for this great idea!
    PS: for the dressing you listed the olive oil twice.

  3. Posted January 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Wait. Is this *the* tarragon dressing?

  4. gabi
    Posted January 14, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Katie, it’s not the tarragon dressing from the food truck. We’re taking that one to the grave!

  5. Posted January 17, 2013 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for some avocado recipes and this one looks great. But I have to confess that I hate brussels sprouts. Yes, it’s a childhood trauma. Vegetables in general can be traumatizing, if children refuse to eat them and the parents caring so much for their little darlings’ health don’t give them a chance to say “no”. But those pictures are wonderful and I’ve actually never thought of eating the sprouts raw. Broccoli also tastes different when it’s raw. Maybe I’ll give it a try. Thanks.

  6. Posted January 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

    If I were invited to a potluck and there were brussels sprouts fixed like this, It’s possible I’d single handedly eat them all!

  7. flip flop girl
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Love brussle sprouts raw, steamed, roasted, can’t go wrong. This looks fantastic, I’ll definitely try this in a vegan version with a nut cheese. thanks !

  8. Posted February 6, 2013 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    The our server was charming and well informed, and indulged us like a scene from Portlandia when we asked questions about each dish. “Brussels sprouts, in July?” we asked. “Where did they come from?” Knowing all while that the growing season for these babies is normally winter or at best cooler season as they do not like the warmer temperatures. “California.” the reply. “The central coast on the bluffs of the Pacific Ocean.” (Ok, I added that part because in my Central California home the fields along Monterey Bay are plentiful with acres of artichokes and spouts grown year-round benefiting from the cool summer coastal fog.) But more to the point, I needed, yes, needed to know what the dressing was on these quick fried leaves, with cilantro. She headed into the kitchen and reported back that indeed, mint, garlic, fish sauce and cilantro were all key elements. But by the time we had finished the bowl, I was working my memory muscle to ingrain the flavor blend so I could recreate it at home.

  9. Carly
    Posted February 13, 2013 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    This was *seriously* labour-intensive. You better get some help in the kitchen if you’re making this to serve more than 2. And it also helps to love the person you’re making it for. It was delicious though. I might opt for a different herb next time, but that’s just personal taste.

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