Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Barley SaladCourse: SALADSCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Living in Miami, I can’t even fathom a temperature reading under 80 degrees (F) until November (if I’m lucky) and have only the lighting changes in my kitchen to inform me that Fall has arrived. So, even though food bloggers start pushing squash and pumpkin recipes at 12:00 sharp on September 1, I sit on my hands until I can’t stand it any longer…usually around October 1.
As soon as I see the shadows creep over my stovetop, I know it’s time to roast my Butternut Squash. I know it’s not the coolest squash out there these days. Everyone is gaga over the trendier ones like Kabocha, Red Kuri, and Honey Nut. And don’t get me wrong, I love them too, but as far as I’m concerned, Butternut Squash is still the Queen.
Making this Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Barley Salad makes me feel like Fall has finally arrived, even when it’s 90 degrees out with 99% humidity. I love to eat it while wearing my favorite flannel, longing for the smell of wet fallen leaves and other Fall smells I recall from growing up in New York.
The dressing also screams Fall, as Maple Syrup provides the sweetness to balance out the smoked paprika. And finished with Marcona almonds and fried sage, it is as stunning as it is delicious.
This would be perfect on your Thanksgiving table, or any Fall gathering, and it also makes for great leftovers.
2 cups cooked barley, room temperature or cold (I use quick cooking barley, which cooks in about 15 minutes)
4 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1/2 dice
1/2 cup Marcona almonds
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
- Fried Sage Garnish
6 tbsp grapeseed oil
15-20 sage leaves
- Maple Dijon Dressing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an 18×13 sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Rub squash pieces with 3 tbsp grapeseed oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Roast squash for 30 minutes. While squash is in the oven, prepare dressing using directions below.
- Prepare Fried Sage using directions below and set aside.
- Roughly chop Marcona almonds and add half the quantity to a large bowl, reserving the remainder for the top of the salad. When squash pieces are cool enough to handle, add to large bowl with almonds and add cooked barley, Brussels sprouts, and about 1/2 cup dressing. Toss and season to taste with Kosher salt and pepper. Divide salad between 4 plates and garnish each salad with 3-5 fried sage leaves and remaining almonds. Pass around remaining dressing.
- Maple Dijon Dressing
- Whisk together maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. While whisking, drizzle in olive oil. Once dressing is emulsified, stir in smoked paprika, Kosher salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Fried Sage
- In a small saucepan (I use my 1 1/2 quart), heat oil over medium high heat. After a few minutes, toss in a single small sage leaf to gauge readiness. Oil is hot enough when small bubbles crowd around edges. If leaf turns brown, turn heat down, as oil is too hot. Working in batches of 5-6 sage leaves at a time, add sage to oil and fry for 30-60 seconds, flipping each leaf over once during cooking. Sage leaves are done when they are visibly hardened in the oil. Drain sage leaves on a paper towel lined plate and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt.