Roasted Brussel Sprout Salad
Brussel sprouts – you either love ’em or hate ’em. Which category do you fall into? I don’t think I could eat an (overcooked, mushy) boiled brussels sprout (shudder!). I usually slice them up and use them in stir fries and the like, just as I would use cabbage. I like to leave them with a bit of crunch and I quite enjoy their slightly bitter taste. A few weeks ago I spotted some really tiny sprouts and ended up buying two bags of them. A bit excessive, I know! My kids say “eew…not brussel sprouts” because that is what children’s books and tv shows say – poor old sprouts are the butt of many a joke (and I use that term deliberately). But they eat them….mostly without even realising that they are eating them!
Trying to figure out something creative to do with my bags of mini brussels sprouts I decided to make them a feature rather than hiding them in a dish. Bacon seems to be a common companion to these little beasties, so I decided a warm salad with bacon (homemade ofcourse!) and red onion. To bring out a bit of caramel flavours in the sprouts I decided to roast them in the oven…and lets face it, that was a very easy way to prepare them! I dressed it with a mustardy dressing while still warm so the flavours could mingle nicely and soak into the sprouts. It was a lovely combination and greeted with enthusiasm at the lunch I took them to – who would have thought that brussels sprouts could generate such a positive reception?! 🙂Roasted Brussel Sprouts Salad
(no quantities here, just be guided by what you have at hand)
- Preheat your oven to 200 C
- Slice your brussels sprouts in half or quarters if they are large.
- Slice up some red onions – thick slices or wedges
- Dice up some bacon. Something lovely and smoky if you have it.
- Mix all of the above together and place on a tray (line the tray with baking paper if you want to make washing up easier). Pour over some olive oil and mix well with your hands. Now spread out in a single layer if possible.
- Place in the hot oven. Check after 5-10 minutes and give them a bit of a stir if they have started to brown. You are aiming for a short cooking time (to retain crunch) at the same time as getting lovely brown bits. The bacon will cook and release some of its fat in this process hence the need to stir it a couple of times. The onion should get nice and soft with slightly caramelised edges.
- While the sprouts are cooking in the oven, prepare your dressing. I used one crushed clove of garlic; some strong spanish sherry vinegar, a big dollop of grain mustard and olive oil whisked together with a little salt and pepper.
- As soon as you remove the sprout mixture from the oven, pour into a bowl and mix the dressing through while still warm. Allow it to sit for at least half an hour before eating if possible. It should still be warm then and the dressing would have soaked through the sprouts nicely.