This salad. It’s one of my absolute favorites. I was inspired to create it last year, after selecting an unlikely pairing–Brussels sprouts and butternut squash–from a local pizza restaurant’s salad bar (which boasts 24 different mix-in options). It seemed like a strange pairing, but that day it just sounded good. After further perfecting the salad at home, I must have made it a dozen times last fall, so I’m excited to bring it back into heavy rotation now that sprouts and butternuts are once again in season. Paired with sweet dried cranberries, crunchy walnuts and creamy blue cheese, this salad is packed with flavor and filling enough to be a meal on its own. Try to find a good quality, fresh blue cheese and crumble it yourself. You can certainly use the pre-crumbled kind, but I promise you won’t regret spending a few extra dollars on this one ingredient. Also, be careful not to overcook the Brussels sprouts, which become very bitter if cooked for too long.
Fall Harvest Salad
3 tablespoons of good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Butternut squash, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
A nice blue cheese, crumbled
Red romaine lettuce, chopped or torn
To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar and dijon mustard. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk, until mixed well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a pan over medium-high heat, sauté the Brussels sprouts and squash with a very small piece of butter. Cook, turning occasionally and drizzling with a little olive oil, until browned and fork tender but still crisp. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss lettuce with balsamic dressing. Transfer lettuce onto plates, then top with the warm Brussels sprouts and squash, cranberries, walnuts and blue cheese.