Here we are again with another delicious and nutritious recipe from chef Avery Richter. I’ve heard from lots of people that they really liked her last recipe for farro grain bowls and I’ll bet this one will also get good reviews.
Avery is the executive chef at The Black Tie Company, which is primarily a catering business but also serves breakfast and lunch at its bistro on Union Wharf off Commercial Street in Portland (Maine) — aptly named Union Kitchen. That’s where she showed me how to put the salad together.
Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate, and Mint Salad
Recipe makes 6-8 cups
- 4 cups medium diced peeled butternut squash
- 3 cups cleaned and halved Brussels sprouts
- 1/8-1/4 cup balsamic reduction (see directions below)
- 1/2 bunch mint (chopped)
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Salt/pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- Roast squash. Lightly coat in oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 400F for 12-15 mins until fork tender and golden brown.
- Roast Brussels sprouts separately, using the same instructions as the squash.
- Combine all other ingredients.
- Lightly coat the salad with balsamic reduction — you don’t want to overpower the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to finish. Serve cold or at room temperature!
Makes 3/4 cup
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 c sugar*
- Salt to finish to taste
- In a small saucepan, on medium heat, combine the above ingredients and simmer until reduced to 1/3 the original volume, stirring every few minutes. The consistency should be similar to a syrup. Let cool completely before dressing the salad.
*You can substitute another sweetener for the sugar, but it will alter the flavor. Some people don’t add any sweetener at all, preferring a stronger balsamic flavor.
How to handle Brussels sprouts
Some people are intimidated by Brussels sprouts. I understand. I never used to like them until I ate them roasted and realized I had been missing out. And then, I didn’t know how to prepare them properly. Thank you, Avery, for this short video demo.
Where do I find pomegranate seeds?
You can usually find containers of pomegranate seeds in the produce section, but do yourself a favor and look for the whole fruit when it’s in season. If you’re not sure when that is, ask the store. Here’s how Avery gets the seeds out of the fruit. She says it’s wicked easy.
“Cut pomegranate in 1/2 and have a bowl of water ready to go. With the seeds facing over the water, tap the back of the pomegranate until all seeds land in the water and float to the top. Strain seeds from water and enjoy!”
What makes this recipe healthy?
Here’s what registered dietitian Kitty Broihier thinks of this recipe. She writes about food and nutrition at Nutricomm Inc. and she’s also a Certified Mindful Eating instructor and she’s our go-to nutrition expert.
“This salad sounds amazing to me, and I love salads that have some cooked ingredients included. The use of roasted squash and Brussels sprouts make this a nice option when you have leftovers (or roast extras so you get a couple of meals out of those healthy veggies).” ~Kitty Broihier, MS, RD, LD
- Orange winter squashes like butternut are great sources of vitamin A.
- Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous veggie, and research indicates that a compound found in cruciferous vegetables may have a role in helping to prevent certain types of cancer—they are also healthy for their nutrient and fiber content.
- The fresh mint is a great way to perk up the cooked veggies and serves as a nice alternative green. Fresh herbs in salads add extra nutrients and of course, a more interesting taste.
- Don’t overdo the dressing so the flavors of the vegetables and zing of fresh mint shine through.
Here’s to another great recipe. We’ll keep them coming!