VEGAN BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD WITH ROASTED SQUASH RECIPE
VEGAN BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD WITH ROASTED SQUASH RECIPE
This warm vegan roasted Brussels sprout salad with squash is perfect for the cold months and packed full of healthy, in-season winter flavors.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Servings: 4
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 butternut squash (peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon stone-ground whole mustard
- Sea salt & pepper
- 1 persimmon (ripe, peeled, cut into wedges)
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss butternut squash with olive oil in large bowl.
Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Arrange coated squash on baking sheet and roast in oven until tender and lightly browned (about 25 to 30 minutes). This step can be done ahead of time.
Boil pot of water.
Wash Brussels sprouts under cool water and discard any yellow leaves.
Drop Brussels sprouts into pot of boiling water, making sure they are covered completely.
Boil Brussels sprouts for 2-3 minutes. While you wait, prep bowl of ice water.
Remove Brussels sprouts from pot with slotted spoon and drop into bowl of ice water to halt cooking process.
After few minutes in ice water, remove Brussels sprouts using slotted spoon again.
Thinly slice Brussel sprouts and set aside.
Whisk balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, stone-ground whole mustard, and sea salt and pepper together. Set aside.
Toss shaved Brussel sprouts, oven-roasted butternut squash, persimmon, and pomegranate seeds until mixed well.
Toss in salad dressing and coat evenly, then serve immediately.
To make this dish ahead of time, blanch the Brussels sprouts and store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days (they tend to spoil quickly so I wouldn’t make them too far ahead!). To prepare the squash in advance, roast the cubes and store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
WHY ARE MY Brussel SPROUTS BITTER?
The bitterness of Brussels sprouts makes them a little less popular than other vegetables. The bitter taste comes from compounds called glucosinolates. However, with proper cooking techniques, you can reduce their bitter flavor and make them super delicious.
A few tips for reducing the bitterness of Brussels sprouts:
- Cut them in half: Glucosinolates are compounds that are concentrated in the center of the sprout and it helps to halve the sprouts so that these compounds release during the cooking process.
- Do a quick-blanch: I try not to boil any vegetables for too long, as this results in water-soluble vitamins leaching out into the water and reducing the nutritional benefits of most vegetables. A quick blanch for 2-3 minutes, depending on the size of your sprout, should greatly diminish bitter flavors.
- Roast or saute: The natural caramelization that occurs with these cooking techniques makes them sweeter, and thus, less bitter tasting.
- Add fat: Balance bitter with fat (oils and vegan butter). If you have something bitter and you match it with something fat, they play off each other and make each other taste even better. Fat coats the mouth and makes the bitter flavor less noticeable.
- Add salt: Combat bitterness with a sprinkle of salt. Even just a trace amount of sodium in a dish will neutralize the bitterness as your taste buds are more likely to react to salty flavors rather than bitter flavors.
Use these tips to avoid the bitterness in this vegan brussels sprout salad with roasted squash recipe!
HOW DO YOU KNOW BRUSSELS SPROUTS HAVE GONE BAD?
The telltale sign of spoiled Brussels sprouts will be their smell, which is reminiscent of rotten cabbage. The sprouts will also start to shrivel and wilt and the leaves tend to turn brown from their original bright green color. However, if there are only a few leaves, you can just discard them and use the rest of the sprout.
WHAT IS GOOD TO SERVE WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS?
Nutty, tender, and almost meaty in texture, Brussels sprouts are impressive all on their own. Some of the best ways to cook them involve nothing more than slicing them in half and roasting them in high heat with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, says Healthline. Sometimes you just need to switch things up, however. Try these flavor variations for cooking Brussels and you’ll simply fall in love with this sprout:
- Add tons of flavor: Mustard, balsamic vinegar, sauteed onions or shallots, chopped and toasted nuts, miso, dried cranberries, and lemon juice all pair really well with Brussels sprouts. Try my Tangy Brussels Sprouts for a healthy side with a little kick!
- Make them the entree, not just the side: Trim the thick stems off, thinly slice the sprouts, and stir fry them in a wok alongside cubed tofu. You can also add a drizzle of tamari, sesame oil, and maple syrup for extra flavor. This combination may seem simple but it’s insanely delicious, and high in protein!
- Add them to a kale salad: Thinly slice the sprouts and add them to a shredded kale salad for extra crunch. Drizzle with a vinaigrette and it’s dinner made simple!
- Grill them on a skewer: Add quartered red onion, cherry tomatoes, and halved Brussels sprouts to a skewer and drizzle with a 1:1 ratio of balsamic vinegar and maple, and grill them until they’re crispy and caramelized.
- Combine with mushrooms: Make an easy stir fry and combine halved sprouts with quartered mushrooms for a heftier side dish.
- Add them to other roasted veggies: Take a baking sheet, cover it in parchment paper, and pile on root vegetables (potatoes, parsnips, carrots) and halved sprouts in one even layer, making sure all the veggies are cut in equal size for even cooking.
HOW TO ROAST SQUASH?
- Roasting cubes: The important thing to remember is that you have to peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler as the skin is not edible in this method. If your squash is particularly large, I recommend cutting it in half horizontally and peeling each half. Then cut each half vertically and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (save these to roast with some olive oil, salt, and pepper!). From here, you can cut the squash in cubes (the smaller they are the faster the cooking time). Place the cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coat them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Roasting halves: This will be the easier method of roasting butternut squash. Cut the squash in half vertically and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Brush each half with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and set them on your baking sheet flesh-side up. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes at 400 degrees F, until the flesh is fork-tender. The slow roasting allows the skin to soften and become edible so you can eat the entire squash at the point, or scoop out the insides with a spoon.
One of my favorite parts of fall has to be the availability of all kinds of beautiful squashes in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. They add so much comfort and heartiness to any fall or winter dish and they’re loaded with nutrients as well. I love acorn squash, delicata squash, kabocha squash, and spaghetti squash to name just a few. This easy-to-make Acorn Squash Soup get its creaminess from coconut milk and a touch of spice from Thai red curry paste and it’s an absolute favorite in my household.
So while all of the above ingredients are healthy on their own, together they create this gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, delicious salad. I can’t wait for you to try it. Please leave your comments below and tell me how you served this vegan brussels sprout salad with roasted squash dish!