For the butternut squash:
- 3 cups ½ inch cubed butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
For the sweet and salty toasted pecans:
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- sea salt
For the salad:
- 1 pound (16 ounces) brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and yellow outer leaves removed
- ¾ cup seeds from 1 small pomegranate
- 1 large apple, thinly sliced (honeycrisp or pink lady apples are great)
- ½ cup chopped Medjool dates
- 1/3 cup shaved manchego (or shaved parmesan)
For the caesar dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from ½ large lemon
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon finely diced capers
- 1 teaspoon caper brine (from the jar of capers)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 tablespoons warm water, to thin dressing
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add butternut squash cubes. Drizzle with olive oil, honey or maple syrup, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the butternut squash with the oil. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Butternut squash is done when fork tender.
While butternut squash is cooking, you can toast pecans: add the pecans to a pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until they are slightly golden brown. Once golden brown, turn off the heat and stir in a teaspoon or two of pure maple syrup to coat the pecans, followed by a sprinkle of sea salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Next, shred your brussels sprouts: shave the brussels sprouts by using a food processor with the slicing attachment and pulse until the brussels sprouts are thinly sliced. If you don’t have a food processor, feel free to use a sharp knife to thinly slice. Add shredded brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
Next, mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth: tahini, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic, diced capers, caper brine, dijon mustard, warm water and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add a pinch of salt if necessary.
Pour dressing over shredded brussels sprouts and toss together with tongs to coat the brussels. Before you add anything else, I highly recommend tasting the brussels to see if they are salty enough to your liking. If not, season with a bit of freshly ground salt and pepper. Next, you can choose to serve this on a platter or in a bowl. Platters are pretty for entertaining or serving guests and bowls are great for date nights, family dinner and meal prep.
If making on a platter: add all of the brussels sprouts coated with dressing to a large platter. Top with roasted butternut squash, then pomegranate seeds, apple slices, chopped dates, shaved manchego and finally, the toasted pecans.
If making in a bowl: stir in the cubed roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds, apple slices, chopped dates, shaved parmesan and toasted pecans. Gently toss again so that everything is combined. Serves 6.