Calling all Brussels sprout lovers! Those with a sophisticated palate yearning for nutty and bitter flavours, this Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad is made for you. The fragrant spices and heavenly honey add depth to the recipe. Perfect for that special occasion!
Is It Brussel Sprout or Brussels Sprout?
The correct spelling of this vegetable is Brussels Sprout. And the reason it’s with an ‘s’ is because it’s named after the Belgian city of Brussels as that’s where it was cultivated in the 16th century. In fact, not only does it have the ‘s’, it should be capitalised!
What Is Purple Brussels Sprout?
Brussels sprouts come from the same family as the cabbage and much like the purple or red cabbages, the purple hues occur as the plants mature and when the weather gets colder. Hence, you’ll be able to find them during the winter months at your grocers.
Just like their green counterparts, they have compact round leaves held together by a thick stem. The purple Brussels sprouts are usually smaller in size and is slightly nuttier and sweeter in flavour. As you peel the leaves off, you’ll most likely find the colours can vary from deep purple to green topped by a red tinge in its veins and tips.
When you remove the leaves off individually, they are simply gorgeous, resembling petals of a flower. Don’t you agree?
Why I Love Micro Salad Leaves and Why You Should Too
Micro salad or microgreens are salad leaves harvested small. No, it’s not a passing fad nor is it just another attempt at pompous plating.
I personally love them for several reasons:
- The textures are softer which makes them easier to eat. It also makes the salad look lighter.
- Micro salad leaves are of course smaller which means it’s easier to eat. No cutting required and salad dressing doesn’t get smeared on the outside of your mouth. I know this has happened to you when you tried to shove a large piece of lettuce in your mouth and it got messy.
- Brussels sprouts leaves are simply fluffier eradicating the occasional hard veins or sharp tips.
- Micro salad leaves are gorgeous and yes, I consider aesthetics all the time when creating a salad, especially when I’m entertaining. They also make for a great garnish alternative as not all salads command herbs.
- Because they are small, they are a great way to incorporate some green leaves in a salad without making it the hero of the dish. They are more conspicuous and can be hidden amongst ingredients you prefer to show case.
- And lastly, they are delicious! Simple as that.
What are Pepitas?
There is a common misconception that pepitas are pumpkins seeds. Well, you wouldn’t be entirely incorrect in thinking so. Pepitas are hulled pumpkin seeds. But if you’ve ever tried to pry open a pumpkin seed, you’d find that the seeds aren’t the green pepitas you’d be used to buying from the store. They are in fact pale in colour.
Pepitas come from pumpkins that produce seeds without shells. So yes, they are pumpkin seeds except that they have to come from a specific type of pumpkin. In its natural form, these shell free seeds are green as we know it.
They are called pepitas because the Mexicans have been eating them since the Aztec times. It is the Spanish word for “little seed of squash.” And the Mexicans used pepitas regularly in their culinary repertoire.
Why I Love Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad with Spiced Seeds
Brussels sprouts is not everyone’s cup of tea. Despite my best efforts, it’s still the one vegetable that has eluded my attempts of getting my daughter to eat. For many, it’s also a vegetable that seems to grow on you with maturity.
Perhaps our palates crave for produce that is a little different when we’re older but most people I know only develop a liking for Brussels sprouts in their adulthood.
I certainly fall into that category too and now I love it! Even simple steamed Brussels sprouts with a little salt is yum to me. So, imagine how excited I get when purple Brussels sprouts are in season.
The colours in this purple Brussels sprouts salad are so dynamic and when you peel them off leaf by leaf, I’m presented with edible flowers. Stunning to look at and delicious when devoured. Even more so when paired with Hawaij chicken as a main course!
How to Make Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad with Spiced Seeds
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts
Let’s start with the purple Brussels sprouts. We want to remove each leaf by hand, one by one. And we want to do so gently so the entire leaf is intact so it resembles a flower petal.
Brussels sprouts leaves however are tightly bound so they are not so easy to pry open without tearing them. To avoid this, I cut off a bit of the stem where the outer layer is held by. Cutting off the stem releases the leaves easily.
When I get to the point where the inner leaves are again too hard to pull apart, I cut a bit more of the stem. Beware not to cut off too much as otherwise the leaves become too short. Keep going with this process until you get all the leaves you can.
Place the leaves in a mixing bowl, add a tbsp of olive oil and gently coat them well. Season with a bit of salt. Place the oiled leaves on a sheet pan and put in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 3 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
With the green Brussels sprouts, cut them into quarters. In a mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of honey. Mix thoroughly. Place them on a sheet pan and put in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 5 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
How To Make Roasted Pepitas and Seeds
In a small mixing bowl, add sunflower seeds, pepitas, cumin powder, cinnamon, paprika and sugar and mix until well combined.
Line a sheet pan with baking paper and spread the coated seeds out evenly. Place in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 10 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette
This is the simplest of all dressings so as not to take away the strong flavours of the Brussels sprouts.
Simply mix 3 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp of Balsamic vinegar until well combined.
How to Assemble Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad
This is another build salad. No mixing or tossing please so as to keep the Brussels sprouts intact. They are quite fragile after the roasting process.
Spread ¾ of the micro salad evenly across the base of the serving platter. Place ½ the purple and green Brussels sprouts on top followed by ¼ of the spiced seeds. Make sure that some of the purple leaves are placed strategically so that your guests can see the lovely purple hues.
Drizzle half the dressing on top.
Place the rest of the micro salad on top, followed by the Brussels sprouts and seeds. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over salad and serve immediately.
This has got to be the best Brussels sprout recipe both in taste and presentation. The nutty and bitter flavours of the Brussel sprouts is softened by the roasting process and complemented by a hint of heat and aromatics from the spicy pepitas. This is quite a sophisticated salad recipe, perfect for those special occasions.
More Nut Free Salad Recipes:
- Roast Duck, Caramelised Grapefruit and Wombok Salad
- Tamari Seeds and Baby Gem Lettuce Salad
- Rustic Black Rice Salad with Purple Broccolini
- Risoni Salad with Hot Smoked Salmon and Crab
- Gochujang Chicken Salad with Noodles and Tofu
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:
Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad with Spiced Seeds
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Cut a bit off the stem off the purple Brussels sprouts. Gently remove the leaves individually. When you’re unable to remove the leaves easily, cut off a bit more of the stem to release the leaves. Do so until you have done as much as you can.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, gently coat the purple Brussels sprout leaves with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Place the oiled leaves on a sheet pan in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 3 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Cut the green Brussels sprouts into quarters. In a mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of honey. Mix thoroughly. Place on a sheet pan and place in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 5 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
- In a small mixing bowl, add sunflower seeds, pepitas, cumin powder, cinnamon, paprika and sugar and mix until well combined. Line a sheet pan with baking paper and spread the spiced seeds out evenly. Place in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for 10 mins. Remove and set aside to cool.
- Mix 3 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Mix until well combined.
- Spread ¾ of the micro salad evenly across the base of the serving platter.
- Place ½ the purple and green Brussels sprouts on top followed by ¼ of the spiced seeds.
- Drizzle half the dressing on top.
- Place the rest of the micro salad on top, followed by the Brussels sprouts and seeds.
- Drizzle the rest of the dressing over salad.
- Serve immediately.
- As this is a Brussels sprout recipe, there is no replacement for the purple Brussels sprouts. If you’re not able to source any, just increase the portions of the green Brussels sprouts. I recommend you continue to do half in leaves and half in quarters.
- If you’re unable to find micro salad, you can replace it with snow pea shoots or even alfalfa.
- If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can omit the paprika from the spiced seeds.
- Remove the honey to make this recipe vegan and low FODMAP friendly.