If you think salads are boring, not filling enough or just for the summer, think again. You will love this incredibly tasty winter salad and I’m hoping to convert all those who think they don’t like salads! I stumbled across this layered combination of roasted butternut squash, crispy brussels sprouts, caramelised onions and tied it up with a zesty dressing and crunchy pistachios. This easy winter salad is an absolute treat!
Roasting vegetables is one of my favourite ways of serving them and by building up the flavours and textures, as I’ve done here, you can create a delicious feast that just happens to be vegetarian, but can easily be served as a vegan option if necessary by leaving out the cheese.
I like to serve it slightly warmed but if not, definitely at room temperature. It can be prepared in advance and covered until you’re ready to serve.
I’ve used butternut squash and brussels sprouts but you can easily combine any other vegetables you happen to have lurking in the fridge. Carrots, sweet potato, parsnip, cabbage, courgettes, aubergine..it’s all great!
This winter salad is packed with nourishing ingredients that will keep you full and satiated..this is my idea of healthy comfort food!
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this one?
To make this simple winter salad, you’ll need…
- 1 small butternut squash, cut into small 2cm cubes
- 2 handfuls brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved lengthways
- 2 red onions, thickly sliced
- 1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Olive oil
- Smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Salt & pepper
To finish off
- ½ pack feta cheese, crumbled
- 50g pistachios (or any other nut)
- Olive oil for drizzling
Here’s how to make this vegetarian salad
Chop all the vegetables into cubes or chunks, keeping them all around the same size.
In a large bowl, toss them in a little olive oil, smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper.
Lay them out on a large baking sheet and roast in the oven for around 25-30mins until they are slightly browned at the edges but still soft.
I prefer to prepare each variety of vegetable separately as they will all have different cooking times. In doing so, as it’s smaller quantities, it also means I can use my air fryer which is a quick and efficient way to roast each batch whilst I prepare the next. The butternut squash took the longest, around 25mins but the others are ready nearer 15mins.
The pistachios can also be toasted in the oven but they’ll take around 5-8mins; less in the air fryer. Keep an eye on them! Set aside once they’re ready.
Whilst the vegetables are roasting, start to caramelise the onions. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat a little olive oil. Add the sliced onions and allow to cook over a moderate heat to start with until they are soft and translucent, stirring continuously. Then turn the heat down and let them cook for around 10mins, stirring occasionally until they start to become softer and sticky. Now add a little salt and pepper and continue to cook for a few mins. Do not let them burn! Turn off the heat and set aside.
To prepare the dressing, combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl or jar, retaining 1 tsp lemon zest to use as a garnish. Mix well. Set aside.
When the vegetables are ready, begin to layer them onto a large dish. Begin with the butternut squash, then the chickpeas followed by the red onions and finally the brussels sprouts.
Drizzle the dressing over the top. Then crumble the feta and sprinkle the roasted pistachios and finish off with a light drizzle of olive oil and the remaining lemon zest.
If you’re not serving till later, hold the pistachios and the final garnish until you’re ready to serve.
Butternut Squash, here’s a tip!
Do you struggle to peel a butternut squash? Well, there’s no need to if you’re roasting it. Simply wash the skin well, scrubbing off any soil if necessary and chop it into chunks with the skin on. Once it’s roasted, the skin will be soft and you won’t even notice it!
Want another butternut squash recipe? Try this Hearty Butternut Squash and Lentil Dhal