This maple roasted quince and Brussels sprout salad recipe with lemony dressing and crumbled goat cheese makes for a wonderfully autumnal side dish. Jump to recipe.
I’ve spent the past couple weeks wrestling recipes. My kitchen has been the scene of dry pie crusts, rubbery custards, and ho-hum chicken. However disappointing, these are the reasons we test recipes. They develop and evolve, and each iteration is an improvement. It took some work, but in each case I eventually finished with something I really love and can’t wait to share.
The unexpected twists and turns of recipe development combined with photography-unfriendly storm clouds threw my weekly posting schedule off. I needed something good, pretty much immediately. Something that didn’t need to be worked and reworked. As it often does, inspiration came from ingredients – the season’s first batch of Brussels sprouts and an unexpected basket of quince at the grocery store.
Crisp edged, smoky roasted Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite seasonal flavors, but variations in size and the presence of loose leaves on the roasting pan often lead to sprouts both soggy and burned. It can feel like one needs just the right alchemy to get these little brassicas right. This roasted Brussels sprouts recipe solves both problems beautifully and with surprising ease. Sprout leaves are separated out, while the dense, pale interior is sliced thin. Sliced sprouts are roasted first, while the leaves are roasted briefly right at the end. A little added prep time and complexity makes for perfectly cooked sprouts – the slices are tender with golden edges, while the leaves crisp up into perfect little Brussels sprout chips, lending a satisfying crunch to the salad.
Supporting the sprouts are maple roasted quince slices – buttery and tart – plus a lemony dressing and crumbled Capricho de Cabra goat cheese. This is a special salad and a fitting reward for such carefully prepared ingredients.
If you have a large, reliable oven, you can probably roast the quince and sprouts at the same time. My oven is more temperamental and I’ve written the recipe with that in mind.
This maple roasted Brussels sprout and quince salad recipe with lemony dressing and crumbled goat cheese makes for a wonderfully autumnal side dish.
- 1 ripe quince , cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup , divided
- 1/3 cup crumbled Capricho de Cabra (or another flavorful fresh goat cheese)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
- pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a small bowl, toss quince slices with 1 tablespoon each olive oil and maple syrup. Arrange slices on a rimmed baking sheet and slide into the oven. Roast for 15 - 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Pull quince once the edges are lightly browned and the fruit is tender, but not limp. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, prep Brussels sprouts. Set out two small mixing bowls (including the one used to toss quince). Using a sharp paring knife, trim stem and very carefully carve out the core. Break off any leaves and set them in one the bowls; set sprout upright and cut into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. Place sliced sprouts in the second bowl. Toss sliced sprouts with your hands and fish out any single leaves and add those to the leaf bowl. Toss sliced sprouts with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) olive oil, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss leaves with remaining olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Roast slices for 15 minutes, flip, scatter reserved leaves, and roast for another 5 - 7 minutes, until leaves are crisp and slices are tender.
To make dressing, combine lemon juice, maple syrup, shallot, mustard powder, and sea salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Toss quince with warm sprouts and plate. Finish with a few crumbles of goat cheese and a pinch of sea salt. Serve salads warm, drizzling with dressing just before the first bites since dressing will eventually wilt the crispy leaves.
Christine @ Cooking with Cakes says
these grey skies we’ve been having in NYC the past two days are TOTALLY killing my schedule this week, so I’m feeling your pain! haha it’s so weird when your career literally revolves around the sun 🙂 good news is these brussels look totally BOMB – pinning to make ’em soon! x
Thanks for the tip on roasting the sprouts! I LOVE Brussels sprouts but inevitably any time I roast them some are waaay under done and the tiny crispy leaves are too burnt to enjoy. I’ll definitely get this a shot next week once we get our sprouts in!
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
I’ve had some unsuccessful moments in the kitchen this week too. I overcooked dinner for guests on Friday (I blame the cocktails we were drinking for my forgetfulness) and then served friends a cold meal the next night. How that happened, I do not know.
I’m with you on Brussels sprouts. I’m absolutely obsessed (in fact, I just cooked some for dinner… though more than half were consumed directly from the hot pan). I just love this gorgeous salad topped with crumbled goat cheese. Can’t wait to give it a try!
Sylvie | Roamingtaste says
This might be the first time I’m convinced to buy quince because I’ve never been sure what to do. Maybe its this time of year because I’ve had a lot of failures recently, we just have to keep trying!
Brussels Sprouts have been on my try-list ever since I moved to the US 3 years ago. The first time I bought them organic, they were infested with aphids which totally put me off from trying. I think I’m ready again and I’m so glad for your tip on separating and roasting them. I’m coming back here when I get some to play with. Everything looks gorgeous.
This is my kind of meal. I could eat this whole pan up, so good Elizabeth! And, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us in the following weeks. xx
Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen says
Oh I hear ya, lady! Recipe development and creating content can be so very frustrating from time to time. I guess it’s something that all of us creative folks go through sometimes.
But oh my does this look fantastic! I’m a sucker for Brussels sprouts but have a hard time coming up with ideas how to use quinces, a fruit that’s not very common here up in the north. After seeing this though I need to track down some quinces and make this happen. Thanks for the inspiration! xx
Laura&Nora @Our Food Stories says
what a wonderful recipe!! love the combination of brussle sprouts and quinces, such a great idea!
This sounds really interesting. Knowing it’s like pulling your recipe apart, can a good solid apple be used in stead of quince, as they are hard to come by where I live? And if you are not keen on goats cheese, is there a cows cheese you can recommend?
Carrie S. says
I love brussels sprouts and haven’t added them to my basket lately – this is the perfect inspiration to use them again, thanks so much! I just hope I can find quince at my farmer’s market in Southern California :/
Just made this to add to Xmas dinner and thought it was the perfect salad. The quince turned out beautifully caramelized, like in your photos. The brussel sprouts were not as roasted as yours look, but still pretty good. The only thing I didn’t have was the cheese, but I really enjoyed this salad and growing up in a family that didn’t often eat salad, I liked that so many of the ingredients had been cooked first and that it could be served warm. Would do this again!