Sweet Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Dutch Carrots Salad, What’s Not to Love? Along with The Nutty Texture of Freekeh Balanced with Freshness of Peas and Rounded Off with Creamy Goat’s Cheese, Our Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad Is Insanely Flavoursome.
What Is the Best Way to Eat Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts, eck!
I feel this is the standard response from most people. And no matter how we dress or cook them, for some people, Brussels sprouts ain’t going to work. However, in my family, we love them! Maybe it is our love affair with cabbages. Shred them up in salads, pan-fry with bacon, stir in with pasta, roast with maple syrup glaze, these mini morsels are delicious in so many ways.
Plus they bring many health benefits as they are low in calories, rich in antioxidants and high in fibre, folate, vitamins (especially vitamins K and C) and minerals.
Even though there are over 110 different varieties of Brussels sprouts, we often only see the green ones at the supermarket. If you do come across purple Brussels Sprouts, you will have to try our Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad with Spiced Seeds.
My personal favourite Brussels sprout recipe is a quick pan fry with pancetta and peas. Takes less than 20 minutes, full of flavour and great side dish with chicken, turkey or pork. Alternatively, substitute the pancetta with almonds for a plant based meal with crispy tofu.
Why Do We Eat Brussels Sprouts At Christmas?
Growing up in an Asian, non Christian family, we never really celebrated Christmas in the “traditional” way but somehow I have associated Brussels sprouts with Christmas dinners. Why is that?
After scrolling through many pages on the internet, I thought I would find a beautiful story of how the divisive Brussels sprouts came about being placed side by side with the grand roast turkey of many traditional Christmas feasts. Unfortunately I did not. Sorry to disappoint!
Brussels sprouts or mini cabbages date back to Ancient Rome but Brussels sprouts became more popular during the 1600’s in The Netherlands and Brussels (where it gained its modern name). The cooler climates of European winter is perfect growing conditions for this humble vegetable. It also pairs well with white meat like chicken and turkey. I do believe these are the two reasons that make Brussels sprouts a great candidate for Christmas dinners.
And hence why our Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots would work very well as a delicious Christmas Brussels sprouts recipe during the festive season as it has everything that would match your tantalising main dishes.
Why I Love Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots
I love roasted Brussels sprouts. I love roasted carrots. Add a maple glaze and we are in heaven. To be honest, I probably could have left the dish with just the two vegetables as they are delicious by themselves. But of course we like to do things a bit more fancy, don’t we?
By tossing the sweet roasted Brussels sprouts and Dutch carrots with freekeh, peas, walnuts and topping it with creamy goat’s cheese, the end result is comfortingly satisfying. The combination of this warm Brussels sprouts salad is hearty and flavoursome. I can tell you this salad was devoured in seconds as I served it on the family dinner table.
How to Make Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots
How to Roast Brussel Sprouts and Dutch Carrots
Oven roasted Brussels sprouts and dutch carrots with a good pinch of salt and pepper are pretty good already. However, we are going to elevate them with our maple syrup glaze.
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Give Brussels sprouts a good rinse, then trim stalks and cut each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise.
Dutch carrots don’t need peeling, just a good rinse under water and scrub off any excess dirt especially around the top. Trim off the green tops.
In a large mixing bowl, place olive oil, maple syrup and dijon mustard together and whisk well until glaze is combined. Add Brussels sprouts and Dutch carrots in the bowl, then salt and pepper to taste. Then toss well with maple syrup glaze until all is coated.
The Brussels sprouts will take a little longer than the Dutch carrots to roast so we will start with them first. Lightly brush a roasting dish or sheet pan with olive oil. This is just to help with cleaning later as the caramelisation of maple syrup will cause sticking to the pan.
Scatter the Brussels sprouts on one side of the sheet pan leaving some space for the Dutch carrots. If the outer leaves fall off, that’s ok. They will char and crisp up which are delicious to add to the salad. Place in hot oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and toss them around so they brown evenly. Then add Dutch carrots to the pan. Place back into the oven and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned. My carrots were quite small so they didn’t take long to roast. If you have larger carrots, it might take slightly longer.
Remove from oven and set aside to assemble.
How to Prepare the Salad
Whilst the Brussels sprouts and Dutch carrots are roasting, you can prepare all the other elements of the salad so you can serve the salad warm. However, this salad tastes perfectly well cold too! So no pressure.
How to Cook Freekeh?
What is freekeh, you may ask. An ancient grain originating from Middle East and North Africa, freekeh is fast becoming a popular alternative to oats and rice in a variety of recipes. It is similar to bulgur wheat, farro and spelt but with its own distinctive taste.
The chewy, nutty texture makes this healthy whole grain fantastic for salads, pilafs or stews where it can fully absorb the flavours from the salad dressings or liquid in these freekeh recipes. And is Freekeh gluten-free? No because it is made from wheat.
>> You have to try one of favourite freekeh recipes, Pomegranate, Barley and Freekeh Salad.
In a medium saucepan, add ½ cup of freekeh, 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once the water has been absorbed, remove pan from heat and then drain freekeh. Give it a rinse under cold water to loosen up the grains. Set aside for assembly. If you have bought cracked freekeh, it will cook in less time.
Cook the Peas
At the same time, bring 2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan then add frozen peas. Cook for about 1 minute then drain peas and immerse them in a bowl of cold water to stop the peas from further cooking.
Toasting the Walnuts
Over medium-high heat, heat up a large fry pan. Add walnuts to a dry pan and toast for 5 minutes. Stir walnuts constantly and keep an eye on them. Walnuts can burn quickly. Remove from heat when walnuts are golden brown.
How to Assemble the Salad
There is no “official” dressing for this warm Brussels sprouts salad as the maple glaze adds sufficient sweetness and flavour. We create a zesty balance with a good squeeze of lemon juice and then combine the salad with olive oil.
Place maple glazed Brussels sprouts, Dutch carrots, freekeh, peas and walnuts in a large mixing bowl and squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil into bowl. Toss all ingredients together ensuring everything is well covered. Add salt & pepper to taste.
To serve, tumble ingredients into a large platter and top with dollops of creamy goat’s cheese around the salad.
I definitely loved all the ingredients together for this freekeh recipe. It may seem like a lot of elements but this what creates delicious harmony in a salad. The nutty texture of freekeh and toasted walnuts along with sweet maple glazed Brussels sprouts and dutch carrots balanced with freshness of peas and then rounded off with creamy goat’s cheese, our warm Brussels sprouts salad is insanely flavoursome.
I served and devoured this warm salad straight after all the elements were cooked. The combination was hearty and comforting. However, if preparing as a side dish for entertaining such as Christmas or Thanksgiving dinners, you can prepare most elements in advance and toss together when you need to. This salad also works magnificently well as a cold salad. Either way, a great partner to scrumptious roast dinner and Christmas feasts.
More Hearty Salad Recipes:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dutch Carrots
- 1 bunch Dutch carrots
- 400 g Brussels sprouts
- ¾ cup peas
- ½ cup freekeh
- 50 g walnuts
- 50 g goat's cheese
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 6 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
- Wash and trim Brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
- Wash and trim Dutch carrots. No need to peel, just make sure to give it a good scrub.
- In a large mixing bowl, place olive oil, maple syrup and dijon mustard together and whisk well until glaze is combined. Add Brussels sprouts and Dutch carrots in the bowl, then salt & pepper to taste. Then toss well with maple syrup glaze until all is coated.
- Place Brussels sprouts on tray and roast for 10 minutes, then remove and add Dutch carrots to the same tray and continue roasting for 15-20 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
- In a medium saucepan, add freekeh and 2 cups of water. Bring the water to boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Once the water has been absorbed, remove pan from heat and then drain freekeh. Give it a rinse under cold water to loosen up the grains.
- Bring 2 cups water to boil in a small saucepan then add frozen peas. Cook for about 1 minute then drain peas and immerse them in a bowl of cold water to stop the peas from further cooking.
- Over medium-high heat, add walnuts to a dry pan and toast for 5 minutes. Stir walnuts constantly and keep an eye on them. Remove when golden brown.
- Place maple glazed Brussels sprouts, Dutch carrots, freekeh, peas and walnuts in a large mixing bowl and squeeze lemon juice and drizzle olive oil into bowl.
- Toss all ingredients together ensuring everything is well covered. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- To serve, tumble ingredients into a large platter and top with dollops of creamy goat’s cheese around the salad.
- If you can’t find Dutch carrots, normal carrots work fine as well. Use 2-3 carrots and cut into smaller pieces.
- Remove walnuts if prefer a nut-free salad. It works without.