Sometimes being a recipe developer is easier than people think; just throw a bunch of awesome ingredients into a pan, sauté them, and it’s probably going to be delicious. That’s basically what we’re doing here. We’ll cook some shaved Brussels sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts together, then toss them with pasta that has been coated in a creamy avocado-based dressing for a unique and flavorful pasta salad.
But first, please set your childhood Brussels sprout traumas aside and embrace these beautiful cruciferous vegetables. Trust me, when they’re thinly sliced, seasoned well, and sautéed with other flavorful ingredients until slightly browned and crispy, Brussels can become one of your new favorite vegetables.
Makes 4-6 servings
- 1 1/2 cups spiral pasta (rotini, fusilli)
- 1 large avocado
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 6-8 large brussels sprouts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup artichoke hearts
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Prep: Make the pasta according to package instructions. Starting with about 1 1/2 cups of dry pasta should be just about perfect. You can technically use any pasta you have on hand, but spiral types like rotini and fusilli will work best. Allow this to chill while completing the other steps.
The dressing for this pasta salad is basically just a mashed avocado – the perfect ‘One Ingredient’ way to add creaminess to any salad. To make, use a fork to mash an avocado in a small bowl with some salt and lemon juice until completely smooth. Add a little water, if needed, to reach a smoother dressing-like consistency. Refrigerate this and begin working on the sautéed veggies.
To make the “shaved” Brussel sprouts, just slice them thinly lengthwise. Add about 6 of these sliced Brussels to a pan with a drop of oil and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Then, throw in 2 handfuls of halved Kalamata olives, some sun-dried tomatoes, a few artichoke hearts, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Season this well with salt and allow to cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the Brussels start to brown and everything smells amazing:
Finally, put this pasta salad together by gently folding the avocado dressing into the pasta until it is lightly and evenly coated. Then toss in the sautéed Brussels mixture until everything is well incorporated.
This dish is best served cold, so pop this finished salad in the fridge to further chill, if necessary. It should keep well for a day (or two, at most) if refrigerated in a sealed container.