This fresh and light Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad features both roasted and raw brussels sprouts, pomegranate arils, shallot, toasted hazelnuts, and manchego cheese. Tossed with a lovely blood orange and pomegranate vinaigrette, it makes a healthy and colorful contribution to your holiday table, but it's simple enough for a weeknight side dish!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Using Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Salad
Why roasted brussels sprouts salad? I love the crispy, browned edges of roasted brussels sprouts. The maillard reaction intensifies the flavor of browned food, and adds complexity to a dish. I wanted that flavor in this salad, but I wanted the crunch of the raw brussels sprouts too. This roasted brussels sprouts salad brings the best of both (if I do say so myself😆).
After I settled on a combination of roasted and raw brussels sprouts, I contemplated the selection of salad dressing. Given my focus on Latin flavors and ingredients, I decided on my blood orange and pomegranate vinaigrette. No, it's not Latin per se, but pomegranates and oranges do make their way into a lot of their cuisine. Brussels Sprouts are clearly not Latin vegetables, but I think you'll find this salad pairs well with dishes like this Mexican sous vide duck breast, and these Cornish game hens.
Lastly, I landed on pomegranate arils, sweet mini peppers, manchego cheese, and toasted hazelnuts. Mexicans consider hazelnuts to be a holiday treat (wedding cookies, sponge cake, sophisticated cream soups, etc.).
Like almonds and walnuts, they are used in sophisticated cream soups served at weddings and festive dinners. Mexican culinary lore has it that, in Colonial times, turkeys served in mole sauce were fattened with hazelnuts. Today, there are some intriguing recipes for hazelnut moles that use fruit, nuts and chiles, and are versions of the southern Mexican manchamanteles.
~~ Karen Hursh Graber, Nuts Star in Mexican Holiday Cooking
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad
- brussels sprouts - Choose firm, bright green brussels with leaves firmly in place.
- shallots - Substitute red or sweet onion.
- pomegranate - I always prefer to buy a whole pomegranate (they're always available in south Texas), but a cup of pomegranate arils is a great shortcut. This video for breaking down pomegranates is the best I've found!
- hazelnuts - As I mentioned above, I chose hazelnuts after researching nuts in Mexican cooking. I wouldn't hesitate to substitute pecans or slivered almonds.
- sweet bell pepper - We keep mini peppers on hand for snacking, and they're a super easy option for this salad. They have few seeds or veins to remove before slicing.
- manchego cheese - I wanted a flavorful, aged hard cheese to grate over top. Pecorino or parmesan would be good as well. I can get an aged cotija that would make a good substitute, but some of the widely available brands are not aged, and would be disappointing I think.
Blood Orange Pomegranate Vinaigrette
You will find the recipe for this salad dressing at Pomegranate and Blood Orange Vinaigrette. You likely won't need all of it, but it will keep 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. I included the ingredients in this post for reference.
- oranges - We love blood oranges when they're available, so that's our choice for this dressing. You can substitute cara cara oranges, tangerines, clementines, etc.
- vinegar - My preference for this vinaigrette recipe is white wine vinegar. I don't want to mess with the color of the vinaigrette. Champagne vinegar, fruit vinegar with a white wine base, or sherry vinegar are good options.
- extra virgin olive oil
- pomegranate molasses - If you can't find it locally, you can order pomegranate molasses online, or make homemade pomegranate molasses with pomegranate juice. It's very easy!
- dijon mustard
- sweetener - I use agave nectar (or honey). You can also use maple syrup. Brown sugar will do in a pinch, but I'm not sure how much you should use.
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- Prepare the roasted brussels sprouts - Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim half of the sprouts, cutting about ¼" off the thick stem end. Remove any damaged or browning leaves. Slice thin with a very sharp knife. If you're brave enough to use a mandoline, go for it. Add the thinly-sliced shallots. Toss with a few drizzles of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the brussels sprouts - Place the prepared brussels sprouts in the preheated oven. Roast until the edges are browned and some of them are crispy. This should take 8-12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Prepare raw brussels sprouts - Trim the sprouts, cutting about ¼" off the thick stem end of the remaining brussels sprouts. Remove any damaged or browning leaves. Cut them into chunks. Pulse in a food processor until chopped as shown.
- Assemble the salad - Add the roasted and raw brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, sliced sweet pepper, and pomegranate arils to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the blood orange vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Serve the salad - Garnish the tossed salad with manchego shavings and more pomegranate arils. Serve with additional vinaigrette and cheese. Enjoy!
Are brussels sprouts healthy?
YES! A one cup serving is only 56 calories, yet they provide 4g of protein, 11g of carbohydrates, and .8g of fat. See Brussels Sprouts Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits for more information.
Is this brussels sprouts salad good leftover?
I think so. It is important to dress it lightly and reserve any additional vinaigrette as needed so that it doesn't get soggy. Store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container to consume the following day. I have had it the next day. I don't think I'd push it any further out.
To avoid a soggy salad, lightly dress it, and pass a cruet of vinaigrette for those who want more.
If you prefer a less crunchy, raw texture, massage a little extra virgin olive oil into the chopped brussels sprouts.
Proper seasoning is really important with this salad! Check for salt and pepper.
🥗 Recipe Riff
Make it south-of-the-border style by:
- swapping pepitas for the hazelnuts
- swapping aged cotija cheese crumbles for the manchego
- swapping a Fresno or red jalapeño for the sweet bell pepper
- make this cilantro lime dressing instead of the blood orange and pomegranate vinaigrette
Pomegranate arils work well with Mexican flavors. You could toss in some citrus sections in addition to or instead of the arils.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts
- 2 shallots - sliced thin
- 2 ounces hazelnuts - toasted and chopped
- 2 mini peppers (or ½ of a large pepper) - sliced thin
- ½ cup pomegranate arils - more for garnish!
- blood orange and pomegranate vinaigrette
- manchego cheese - to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim half of the sprouts, cutting about ¼" off the thick stem end. Remove any damaged or browning leaves. Slice thin with a very sharp knife. If you're brave enough to use a mandoline, go for it. Add the thinly-sliced shallots. Toss with a few drizzles of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the prepared brussels sprouts in the preheated oven. Roast until the edges are browned and some of them are crispy. This should take 8-12 minutes. While the brussels roast, make the vinaigrette. Cool completely.
- Trim the remaining sprouts, cutting about ¼" off the thick stem end. Remove any damaged or browning leaves. Cut them into chunks. Pulse in a food processor until chopped as shown.
- Add the roasted and raw brussels sprouts, toasted hazelnuts, sliced sweet pepper, and pomegranate arils to a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the blood orange vinaigrette. Toss to combine. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Garnish the tossed salad with manchego shavings and more pomegranate arils. Serve with additional vinaigrette and cheese.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.