Roasted Brussel Sprout and Butternut Squash Salad
Remember when we were kids and our parents would make brussel sprouts? Ick! Yuck! Gross! I'll never forget how brussel sprouts as a child meant little boiled green things that looked like mini cabbages and tasted... uh, not so great! Idk what changed, but now all over the place amazing brussel sprout dishes have popped up left and right and taste nothing like I remember as a child. Whenever we go out in LA, brussel sprouts are now on the menu as a side dish or appetizer, at fancy and dive bars alike and they are absolutely amazing! Crispy, crunchy, savory, salty... and oh so perfect and I have to order them every single time, it never fails! And I always remind myself as I eat each bite, "they are vegetables, you know", so I never feel guilty about eating them.
I also have a real soft spot for root veggies, especially since they only surface around this time of the year. My favorites are carrots, kale, beets, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. They are also so easy to make by just roasting them off in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. I wanted to relive every brussel sprout I've ever eaten by highlighting them as the star of this dish!
This fall salad is a magical mashup of sweet, balanced with a little salty. Each bite you take will feed your soul through the crunch of brussel sprouts, kale and sweet apples, the contrast of the cinnamon butternut squash and the perfect salty finish of bacon. This is such a delightful and colorful dish that every guest at your holiday functions will absolutely love! Serve this as a side dish to your main entrée or allow it to stand out as the main dish.
The best part about this is that you can make it your own. Add or hold the bacon. Use turkey bacon. Add roasted pecans or walnuts. Switch it up and add roasted sunflower seeds. Toss on goat cheese or feta cheese. Use a Pink Lady apple or Granny Smith. Whatever your heart desires! 10 easy steps and this salad will be on your table in no time.
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUT AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
For the salad
- 3 cups raw brussel sprouts
- 1 bag pre-washed kale
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 apple of your choice
- 6 pieces of thick cut bacon
- 1 handful of dried cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- 1 handful of goat cheese or feta cheese, optional
For the dressing
- 1 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (can also sub agave or honey)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- the juice from 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook and crumble the bacon, set aside.
Blend all of the dressing ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Put into a container and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the butternut squash into 1/2 inch pieces. In a medium bowl, toss the squash in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Spread the squash onto a sheet pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cinnamon. Bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes or until a fork can be poked through the largest piece.
While the squash is baking, cut the stems of the brussel sprouts and then in halve them the long way. Pull the leaves off of the brussel sprouts until you get to the center and then chop the center into smaller pieces.
Toss the brussel sprouts in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and spread evenly on sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes, until some of the pieces are crispy and brown.
Massage the kale in remainder 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Arrange the salad! In a large bowl or platter, place layers of kale and then brussel sprouts, more kale and then brussel sprouts until both are gone.
Top the salad with butternut squash pieces, apple slices, crumbled bacon, cranberries and cheese.
When you are ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
Tips: 1. I prefer to bake the bacon on a sheet pan with a baking rack on the sheet pan. This helps the grease drain and the bacon get evenly cooked and nice and crispy. 2. Try to spread the brussel sprouts on the sheet pan as evenly as possible so that they cook crispy and don't steam. Steaming will make them softer. 3. Cut the apple just before you're ready to use it so that it looks fresh and not brown from air. 4. I prefer to get my bacon from the deli section of a good grocery store, or Wright brand has great quality thick cut bacon!