shaved brussels sprout and carrot salad with cara cara, avocado, and orange tahini dressing

shaved brussels sprout and carrot salad with cara cara, avocado, and orange tahini dressing // brooklyn supper
Not so long ago, I worked in an office. The kind with little cubes and a computer monitor too small to display the spreadsheets I needed to use and a chair hierarchy that provided peons like me a work week of spinal pain and florescent lights hovering way too close. On my last day, I had only a small tote of things to collect. After nearly two years, I hadn’t moved in. I wish I’d thought to take a picture. It would be a great reminder as I try to balance mothering and writing and creative food and family food, that even on the worst days, I’m better off than I was in that awful gray cube.

shaved brussels sprout and carrot salad with cara cara, avocado, and orange tahini dressing // brooklyn supperThe cube and the idea of work in general have been on my mind lately because our youngest (very) recently started attending preschool a couple days a week. So far, it has increased my productivity, but my big hope is that I’ll eventually get some time to just think. Whether it’s the bright sunlight, unmediated by even a single drop of moisture, or the bracing air, there’s a distinct clarity to January that makes it an excellent month for contemplating the future.

cara cara oranges // brooklyn supper
shaved brussels sprout and carrot salad with cara cara, avocado, and orange tahini dressing // brooklyn supper

But apart from a better chair and lights and the prospect of time to think, one of the most tangible benefits of working steps from my own kitchen is that the lunch options are way better. When afternoon rolls around, I can up and make this lovely pastel-hued winter salad with crunchy shaved vegetables, bright (and pink!) Cara Cara oranges, and creamy avocado. And those things are really, really good, but the real star of this salad is the dressing––a tahini and orange concoction that’s so good I’m planning to drizzle it on everything. The creamy tahini gets brightness from fresh squeezed orange juice and the tiniest bit of heat from chili paste. I’ve given instructions for just enough to dress the salad, but I advise you to go ahead and double the recipe because you’re going to want more.

shaved brussels sprout and carrot salad with cara cara, avocado, and orange tahini dressing // brooklyn supper

Brussels Sprout and Carrot Salad with Cara Cara, Avocado, and Orange Tahini Dressing
serves four to six as a side

A note on shaving Brussels sprouts––it’s best done with a mandoline or with a very sharp knife. Either way, be very, very careful because I like you and your fingers. The carrots are easily cut into ribbons with a peeler.

for the orange tahini dressing (inspired by Edible Perspective and The First Mess)
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (Cara Cara or otherwise)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili paste
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Either in a blender or with a fork, whisk the olive oil into the tahini, and then blend in the orange juice, maple syrup, sea salt, chili paste, and coriander. Thin with water or more orange juice if needed.

for the salad
2 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
3 carrots, trimmed and peeled into ribbons
1/2 a red onion, sliced paper thin ( I used my mandoline)
3 Cara Cara oranges
1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Place the shaved Brussels sprouts, carrot ribbons, and red onion in a bowl and drizzle with half the dressing, turning to combine. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Zest one of the oranges and set aside. Use a sharp knife to trim the top and bottom off the oranges, and then, working your way around, slice off the peels. Slice oranges into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Slice the avocado.

Layer the orange and avocado slices into the shaved vegetables. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, using your hands to better incorporate it, and finish with the reserved orange zest.

cara cara oranges // brooklyn supper


  1. says

    OOooh… this sounds so bright and flavourful and refreshing. Exactly what I love in a winter salad. Sadly, I spend my days in cubicle-land, so I can’t just wander over to the kitchen to fix myself up a bowl at lunchtime, but with a little pre-planning it can still be mine. :)

  2. Shannon says

    The grey of January beats the pants off the grey of the cube! I recently made two salads with shaved brussels sprouts. The first with a food processor and second with a knife. Wasn’t thrilled with either method. Did you use a mandolin to shave the sprouts?

    • says

      Hi Shannon, Thank heavens we got out, right? Sorry your question has languished here for so long — as an answer, I’d say that I use a mandoline for most of the sprout and then switch to a sharp knife. I’ve done the food processor and was also unsatisfied with the texture. And I’ve done all knife, but it’s tough to get a good, thin consistency. If using the mandoline, be very careful. A steel mesh glove makes things easy and safe (I really need to get one.)

    • says

      Hi there, I have a nut allergy, so I’m a little limited in flavors I’ve actually tried, but I think a tablespoon or two of nut butter (either peanut or something else) might give a similar creamy nuttiness as tahini.

  3. Dressing sounds great! Don't have mandolin, but will just cut larger sprouts in half and slice with a chef knife. can't wait to try this and also vary it with other winter greens says

    Dressing sounds great! Don’t have a mandolin, but will cut larger sprouts in half, and then slice. Can’t wait to try this; and plan to try variations with other winter greens as well. Thanks for sharing your inspiring photography and recipe.


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