Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad

in Recipes

Is it just me, or are brussels sprouts trendy?

The nose-pinching gross vegetable of our childhood now sells at hip restaurants for over $10 a pop and culinary magazines the world over are featuring them as the ‘it veggie’. The foodie community is obsessed and I swear I’m not lying when I say that I’ve seen people wearing “I heart Brussels Sprouts” tee shirts.

So yeah, there’s a lot of love for this trendy little cruciferous veg. Embrace the trend, and let’s make some warm, sweet, and delicious quinoa salad with our baby brussels.

Along with being foodie fanfare, brussels sprouts are nutritious too. They are packed with DNA protecting antioxidants and plant powers, a ridiculous amount of Vitamin K necessary for blood clotting and bone health, Vitamin C essential for forming and maintaining connective tissues and keeping our immune system running at top notch, as well as protein, fiber, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids. As a cruciferous veggie, brussels sprouts are known to help protect you from cancer, lower cholesterol, and reduce inflammation in the body. Basically, brussels sprouts are an all-star ingredient, and should be used in your kitchen often. Luckily, they are in season right now and you’ll start seeing brussels pop up at famer’s markets everywhere.

Blanching our brussels and giving them a quick sauté with balsamic vinegar brings out their natural sweetness and earthy texture. They are green shining stars in this warm quinoa salad layered with sweet balsamic glazed onions, roasted and crunchy hazelnuts, and sweet pomegranate seeds for the perfect bite. Trust me, after this salad; you’ll turn into a brussels foodie fan too.

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

10 brussels sprouts
½ T olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 ½ T balsamic vinegar

1 cup quinoa, cooked
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup toasted and skinned hazelnuts*
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 T balsamic vinegar

Trim off the outer leaves of brussels sprouts and discard. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil and prepare a large bowl filled with ice water. Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and plunge Brussels sprouts into cold water to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from water, pat to dry, and cut into quarters. Set aside.

Heat ½ T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until transparent about 3-4 minutes. Add in brussels sprouts and cook for another minute or two. Add balsamic vinegar and cook until vinegar is reduced and onions and brussels sprouts are glazed, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl or platter, combine cooked quinoa, onions, brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds and toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with 1 T balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!

*To toast hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350° F. Place hazelnuts on a baking tray and toast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove the skin, place toasted hazelnuts in between paper towels and roll with your hands back and forth. The skin should crisp off into a million brown papery flakes…be careful not to spill it all over your kitchen floor!

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