I’ve been trying to incorporate several raw foods into my diet lately, and I try to use different greens as a base for my salads, usually rotating between kale, arugula, and spinach. I had absolutely no greens in my fridge recently, but I did see Brussels sprouts that could easily be shredded and substituted. I generally roast or sauté them, and I would never dream of biting into raw Brussels spouts right from the stalk, but once they’re cut up and mixed with the right flavors, there’s no need for them to be cooked.
The combination of apples and onions is typically served on top of pork chops. I like to think that this is because it creates such a complex flavor that it is making up for the bland and sad piece of meat underneath. I have been meaning to make these onions for a couple of years since I first tasted one from a jar. They would also pair wonderfully with a lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, or even by themselves.
P.S. Until I made this post, I never knew the correct spelling was “Brussels” with an “s” on the end. I thought they were simply called “brussel sprouts.” You learn something new every day!
Maple Balsamic Onion & Brussels Sprout Salad
- For the onions:
- about 1/2 lb* cipollini onions
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced & crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 apple, cubed
- to taste salt & pepper
- For the salad:
- 10-12 brussels sprouts
- 1/2 apple, sliced thin
- to top walnuts
- to top pomegranate seeds
- For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 salt
- 1/4 pepper
* These onions typically come in a 1lb-1 1/2lb bag and can also be called “boiling” onions. Any mini onions will do. I used about half of a bag. Don’t stress too much over getting the exact amount.
1. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your onions, skin and all, to the boiling water for about 1 minute. Remove from heat, strain, and rinse under cold water. Now when you slice the ends off the onion, the skin should slide right off.
3. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron, as this is being transferred to the oven) and add your onions, coating them in the oil. Season with the salt, pepper, and thyme. Let them caramelize for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the brown sugar and vinegar and stir. In a couple minutes, this will thicken into a syrupy liquid.
5. Add the garlic and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the apple chunks, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
7. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes or until the onions are golden, slightly charred, and can be pierced with a fork.
8. While the onions are roasting, you can prepare your salad. To do so, I added the washed & trimmed Brussels sprouts to a Ninja blender and pulsed it literally once, and they were completely shredded. It took one actual second.
9. Add all of the ingredients for the dressing into a small bowl and whisk. Pour over the shredded Brussels sprouts.
10. To serve, top Brussels sprouts with apple slices (I used the other half of the apple that I had cubed), walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and the warm apples & onions.
Also by Lauren: Vegan Butternut Squash and Fig Naan Pizza
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Photos: Lauren Sacerdote