I am going to be one of those people who argue the amaziness that is the brussels sprout. It can be raw in a slaw or cooked and eaten by the bowl full. You can saute it, bake it, or roast it. I don’t remember if I grew up hating them (mom?), but I can tel you now that I love them. I really think that if you hated them growing up you should give them a try again. And if you are a brussels sprout lover then you rock already.
While the season for Brussels sprouts if June-January, I get them whenever I can because we eat them all the time. I have really been enjoying them lately roasted or sauteed with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a bit or lemon. Brussels sprouts don’t take much time to cook properly, but if you get a little too distracted cooking away then you run the risk of developing a bitter taste if you overcook them. Besides overcooking them and tasting bitter, they loose a lot of their nutritional value when boiled and overcooked. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to have some Vitamins K and C!
I practically ate this Quinoa and Brussels sprouts salad for every meal while it was in our house. It makes such a large batch that you can easily halve it and still have plenty. I enjoyed it both hot and cold but I really think it is best the next day when all of the flavors have meld together. The dressing is pretty tangy with the lime juice, vinegar and Dijon mustard. But really it is standing up to the quinoa and Brussels sprouts so it mellows out. If you wanted to get a little crazy then I would suggest cooking up a bit of bacon, cooking the garlic and brussels sprouts in some bacon drippings, and then crumbling the bacon back into the salad at the end.
Quinoa and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 2 cups of uncooked quinoa*
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
- 1 red onion, minced
- 2-4 jalapeno peppers, deveined and seeded, minced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz can of chick peas, rinsed
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup of roasted pine nuts, optional
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Prepare the quinoa according to the directions on the box, set aside.
- Rinse the Brussels sprouts throughly and discard discolored outer leaves. Slice the Brussels sprouts thinly.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, while continuously moving around the skillet. Add the Brussels sprouts to the hot skillet and saute them until they have wilted and there is a nice golden brown color to some of the leaves. Turn off the heat.
- Add the quinoa to the skillet and mix thoroughly. Add the onion, jalapeno, and chick peas and mix to incorporate.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing together all of the ingredients in bowl. Mix until the mustard has been incorporated evenly. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix the salad to fully incorporate.
- Lastly, mix the cilantro and roasted pine nuts in.
*Now I know there are some people out there that don’t like quinoa and I don’t want you to be scared off this delicious salad! I would think you could substitute some orzo for the quinoa and still enjoy yourself.