When I think of fall, I think of crisp, fresh air and long walks exploring the changes of the forest. On Vancouver Island, it also means a lot of rain. After some outdoor time, I want to warm up with the fire and some wonderful food.
On one rainy afternoon while some of the children I take care of were napping, I decided we needed a heavy dose of warming greens with dinner to keep our bodies nourished. Something savoury, a little bit sweet, and most definitely comforting.
So I started roasting.
Roasting is one of my favourite methods of cooking because it has the ability to introduce textures, sweetness, creaminess, or crispness to fruits and vegetables when you may not expect it. Ingredients transform in that 350 degree box and leave the house with an arrangement of aromas that let who ever is next to come home know know dinner is going to be good.. even if it’s brussels sprouts.
Yes, this salad will make you a brussels sprout lover. Yes, you will see that they become crispy and consume the delicate flavours of the basil balsamic tahini dressing and marry with the juices of a roasted pear.
You. Will. Love. Them.
Top with seeds (like pepita or sunflower) and a cheese of your choice like goat cheese, feta, parmesan, or white cheddar (aged white in the photo because that’s what we had on hand) or remove it and substitute the honey in the dressing for your favourite alternative to make it vegan.
So for that next rainy day, warm up with a heaping bowl full of roasted vegetables and get your body greened up for the next storm.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Pear Salad
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
3-4 cups thinly sliced brussels sprouts
3-4 cups ripped kale
1 pear, diced
Dash of salt, pepper, and onion powder.
In a bowl, toss the brussels sprouts in olive oil with a dash of salt, pepper, and onion powder. Lay out on a sheet pan and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges are golden, stirring every few minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
On a separate sheet pan, place the kale and pears after tossing in olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder. Roast in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the kale is slightly crisp on the edges and the pears are softened.
Remove sprouts, kale, and pears from the oven and let them cool on the sheet pans.
Basil Balsamic Tahini Dressing
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (or a sweetener of your choice if vegan)
6-8 leaves of basil
Dash of salt, pepper, onion powder, and nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons of water to thin
Add ingredients one at a time into a bowl in the order they are listed, whisking together after you add each one. Add water to thin to the consistency of a cream based dressing.
Place kale, pears, and brussels sprouts (and root vegetable if added) into a bowl and coat all vegetables in the dressing. Place in an baking dish or oven friendly pan. Top with seeds and cheese of your choice. Place back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
With Love, from Ficus.