So here we are in the dead of winter when something I feel passionately about – eating seasonally – becomes its most difficult. Eating seasonally is such a great way to maximize nutrition and minimize cost. That’s a win-win in my book! While it might seem that the only thing in season during this cold stretch of winter is hot cocoa and candy canes, there are some amazing winter staples that you can use to add great flavor to your meals during this time of the year.
And this salad is chock full of them.
First, we have winters darling – squash. Squash is nutrient dense and filling. Plus it lasts a long time in the pantry when stored properly. In this salad I thinly sliced easy-to-find kabocha squash and roasted it until it was deeply caramelized and intently sweet. I had to stop myself from eating it straight off the pan!
Next, enter the brussels sprouts. Now, these gems were undoubtably your least favorite vegetable growing up and for good reason. They were boiled to their soggy sulfurous deaths before being unwantingly passed around the dinner table. No thank you. Here, we exonerate these baby cabbages from sins past and give them a quick roast in the oven. I promise, you’ll fall back into love with this nutrient dense (and delicious!) green.
Beans and dried apricots might not be in season per-se, but they are year round staples. Beans add fiber, protein, and flavor to any dish and dried fruits are a great way to spice up winter eats. Since they are preserved through the drying process, they will last through the fruitless winter months and are often a great way to add flavor an texture to otherwise boring dishes.
Toss all of that together with a sweet and slightly spicy dressing and we have a home-run winter hit.
- 1 small kabocha squash , peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 2 lbs . Brussel sprouts , halved
- 1 can white beans , drained
- 1/4 cup diced apricots
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Avocado oil OR olive oil
- For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons grated horseradish root
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the squash with a small amount of oil and salt. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. You may need two baking sheets depending on their size. Bake until the squash begins to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes.
Toss the brussel sprouts with a small amount of oil and salt. Spread out on a baking sheet, cut side down. When there is 20 minutes left on the squash, add the brussel sprouts to the oven. Cook until softened and slightly browned. If your oven isn't large enough to fit multiple sheet pans at one time. Finish cooking the squash and then roast the brussels sprouts for 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are browning, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together.
Once the vegetables are cooked, toss them together with the beans, apricots, pomegranate seeds, and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.