Think of this Pan Seared Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Pear & Walnut Salad as “a Brussels sprouts for beginners dish”. You’re only using the outer leaves, so it’s camouflaged a bit as regular salad greens (I save the inner part for roasting). Don’t fret, though, my lovers of Brussels sprouts. You will appreciate this recipe, too. It’s a lovely fall salad that pays homage to what you’re seeing at the farmers’ markets these days.
I didn’t learn to love Brussels sprouts myself until well into adulthood. I’m still haunted from the memories of over cooked, awful smelling sprouts served at my preschool. It wasn’t until I began working at Gramercy Tavern in the late 90s that I fell in love with them.
Brussels sprouts need just enough cooking to render them tender. So, you’ll see in this recipe that the leaves get a flash saute for just 30 seconds. It’s enough to perk the leaves up, and no more. I decided to pair it with cauliflower because my little one and I are obsessed with it. The pear felt like a nice, naturally sweet contrast to the earthiness of it all.
The Pan Seared Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Pear & Walnut Salad is forgiving, too.
It’s great warm from the skillet, but also holds well at room temperature for up to 30 minutes, so you can cook it a little bit ahead. I love it with pears, but apples would work nicely. Once pomegranates are in season, they would be a nice addition, as well as add a pop of color. And when citrus season starts, sections of orange would be amazing.
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Pan Seared Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Pear & Walnut Salad
- 14 Brussels sprouts
- Olive oil
- ½ of a small head of cauliflower, florets cut up into small pieces
- Sea salt
- Handful of walnuts, toasted & chopped (divided)
- Small pear, cored removed & finely chopped (divided)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe here)
- Start by preparing the Brussels sprouts. Remove the loose outer leaves, and save the inner sprout for another use (perfect for roasting).
- Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add a swirl of olive oil, and tilt the pan to make sure the bottom is coated. Add the cauliflower. Let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes, until nicely browned underneath. Season with salt, and give the pan a shake to loosen and shuffle the cauliflower. Add another swirl of oil only if necessary (if the cauliflower seems to be sticking). Continue to cook, shaking the pan 2 to 3 times, until the cauliflower is a bit charred all around, about 3 to 4 more minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a deep bowl. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Saute for 30 seconds, just until the leaves turn bright green. Add the leaves to the bowl with the cauliflower.
- Add half the walnuts and half the pears to the bowl. Spoon the dressing on top, and stir until well mixed.
- Arrange the salad on a serving dish. Scatter the remaining walnuts and pear on top. May be served immediately, or hold for 30 minutes to serve at room temperature.
More Brussels Sprouts inspired recipes from my friends at Food Network’s Fall Fest
Healthy Eats: 5 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Brussels Sprouts
Creative Culinary: Bowtie Pasta with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts
The Fed Up Foodie: Beef and Brussels Sprouts Stew
Hey Grill Hey: Brown Sugar Bacon Brussels Sprout Bites
A Mind “Full” Mom: Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Taste with the Eyes: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup
The Mediterranean Dish: Fall Rotini Pasta Salad with Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash
The Mom 100: Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Spicy Drizzle
Pinch My Salt: Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Dilly Dip
Devour: Every Day We’re Brusselin’: 4 Craveable Brussels Sprout Salads
Swing Eats: Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Shallots and Sherry Over Loose Polenta
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Pan Seared Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Pear & Walnut Salad
FN Dish: 7 Recipes That Will Make Literally Anyone a Brussels Sprout Believer