There’s this new spot that opened up in Philadelphia last year called COOK, designed for cooking demonstrations and classes. It features a 16-seat bar that sits in front of a workspace and large open range, with mirrors that hang above for the audience’s viewing. Here, foodie experts and chefs come to hold tastings and learning sessions. And the audience watches/joins in/eats, depending upon the night’s topic. The place is an absolute gem.
A newfound friend recently invited me to a vegan Thanksgiving class being held there, which would bring me my first COOK experience. By the end of the experience, I was entirely smitten. I do hope this means more nights there to come.
The event was held by a sweet lady named Rachel who owns Miss Rachel’s Pantry, a vegan catering and delivery service as well as a communal table styled restaurant. During the session, she whipped up recipes like cashew brie with toast, winter veggie stuffed seitan roast, and the recipe I bring you today. As the cooking transpired, the audience tossed out questions while COOK’s event host poured an endless supply of wine. Rachel’s responses were incredibly warm and so was the night.
For me, this salad was definitely the highlight of the menu. I had only ever had coconut bacon once or twice before, and the raw brussels sprout concept was entirely new to my taste buds. Together, they make a combination that gives memory to a salad.
This is a bowl of leaves that’s far, far more than just a salad. With the toasty sunflower seeds, sweet and tart cranberries, and smoky coconut-y bacon, theres a huge depth of flavor going on here, all complimentary to the earthy, cabbage-like flavor of the brussels sprouts.
COOK often sends you the recipes from their events, which is awesome because I had been planning to recreate this recipe since my last bite. I whipped it up yesterday for a lovely Friendsgiving, and plan to make it again for my family’s own Thanksgiving. When a salad gets rave reviews at a party, you know its worthy of remaking and eating twice within a week’s time. If you don’t get around to it for Thanksgiving, I recommend you bookmark this for later. Thanks Rachel!
Adapted via Miss Rachel's Pantry
- -2 lbs of Brussels sprouts
- -1/4 cup lemon juice
- -2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- -Scant 1/3 cup maple syrup
- -1/3 cup olive oil
- -Salt, to taste
- -1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shreds, flakes)
- -1 Tbsp. grapeseed or any mild oil
- -1 tbsp of tamari/soy sauce
- -1 Tbsp liquid smoke
- -1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- -1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted over dry heat
- -1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Cut off stems from Brussels sprouts. Use a knife to thinly shave each sprout.
- Take lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil and a few pinches of salt, and whisk it all together in a bowl. Toss with the Brussels. Add sunflower seeds and cranberries.
- To make the bacon: Place grapeseed oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add coconut flakes and begin to toast, stirring frequently. Add tamari/soy sauce and liquid smoke, stirring constantly mixing so the sugars don't burn. Cook until bacon is brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and sprinkle in brown sugar.
- Add to salad if serving immediately, or wait to add until serving. Enjoy.