I love winter fruits and vegetables. Last week one of my ultra running pals brought me a big stalk of Brussels sprouts. I knew right away I wanted to make some sort of Brussels sprout salad and searched for a couple other winter vegetables or fruits that would brighten it up with some sweetness and acidity. I found those bright notes in a pomegranate and some lemons plucked from a tree in the back yard.
The whole lemon is used in this recipe. Blanching the lemons, then roasting them, helps to eliminate the bitterness from the rind. You may be hesitant to bite into the lemon, rind and all, but you’ll be pleased to find the rind quite tender. You will want to try this because the peel of a lemon contains more vitamins than it’s juice. Lemon peels are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, folate, beta carotene and vitamin C.
The lemons, pomegranate anvils and Brussels sprouts are tossed together with red onion and tomatoes to create a side salad that was not only visually bright but is also cheerful with each bite.
This salad was accompanied by a hearty bowl of my Minestrone Soup and served on a very rainy winter weekend. The ingredients in this salad made for the perfect light and sunny Sunday night dinner
Serving size: 4-6
- 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 heads or 3/4 pounds of Brussels sprouts*
- 2 large lemons (1 sliced lemon and juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup)
- 1 cup small assorted tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/3 cup of pomegranate arils (seeds)
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt & pepper
* Brussels sprouts can be replaced with mixed greens
Preheat oven to 425F
Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and place onto 2/3 of a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Leave the other 1/3 of the baking sheet empty. Lemon slices will be added to this space later. Toss the Brussels sprouts in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season well with salt and pepper. Roast the Brussels sprouts for about 20-25 minutes until tender and the edges are brown. Turn over the Brussels sprouts a few times while roasting to ensure even browning.
While the Brussels sprouts are roasting, wash the lemons well then slice one lemon into thin rounds. Place the lemon slices into a pot of boiling water. Blanch the lemon slices for 2 minutes. This will help to eliminate the bitterness from the rind. Remove the lemon slices from the boiling water and add it to the baking sheet with the Brussels sprouts. Coat the lemon slices in 1 tablespoon of olive oil then roast with the Brussels sprouts. Roast the lemon slices for about 10-15 minutes until they start to caramelize a little. Watch the Brussels sprouts and lemon slices carefully. The lemon slices may need to be removed from the baking sheet before the Brussels sprouts have finished roasting.
Allow the Brussels sprouts and lemon slices to cool slightly, then cut both Brussels sprouts and lemon slices in half.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, prepare the dressing by whisking together the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, the juice of the remaining lemon (about 1/4 cup), balsamic vinegar, honey and a pinch of salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and red onion slices in the dressing. Transfer to a serving bowl. Slice the lemon rounds in half and add to the top of the Brussels sprout salad. Top with the pomegranate arils.