I was not always a fan of brussels sprouts. Let’s face it, they can be bitter, every children’s cartoon depicts them as a the grossest food there is and when you eat one you’re basically eating a miniature head of cabbage. If you have previously had a bad brussels experience and written them out of your meal repertoire then these pomegranate molasses brussels sprouts will make you a believer. A full-blown brussels believer.
That’s my gift to you and your families this holiday season. The best gifts are those you didn’t know you needed. I bet you didn’t list “the love of brussels sprouts” on your holiday wish list, but you are going to taste these and say, “Wow, best gift of the season. No one can top this.” You’re welcome.
The tenderness of the brussels sprouts pairs perfectly with the crunchy pomegranate seeds. The lime and orange zests perk the dish up and help provide a nice contrast to the sweetness from the vanilla pecan butter. Speaking of the vanilla pecan butter, now this stuff is tasty. Mixing a couple tablespoons of it into the roasted brussels sprouts adds sweetness from the vanilla, texture from the toasted pecans and richness from the butter.
You will have leftover vanilla pecan butter from this recipe and you will definitely be happy about that once you spread it on some warm pumpkin pancakes. Don’t forget about the brussels sprouts in all your excitement though! Serve this festive side dish this holiday season and everyone at your table will be asking for seconds of the brussels sprouts. Now who thought that would ever happen?
- ¼ cup pecans
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, sliced in thin strips
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds, about ⅓ of a pomegranate
- 1 lime, zested
- 1 tablespoons orange zest
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Evenly spread the pecans on a baking sheet and place in the oven until toasted, about 5 minutes. Once toasted, remove from the oven then chop once cool.
- In a small bowl combine the butter and vanilla bean seeds then add the pecans. Stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate the vanilla pecan butter until ready to serve the brussels sprouts.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a medium roasting pan with aluminum foil. Add the brussels sprouts then toss with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- While the brussels sprouts are in the oven heat a small skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot until caramelized. Set aside.
- Remove the pan from the oven then pour the pomegranate molasses over the brussels sprouts. Stir to combine then return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until tender.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Move the brussels sprouts with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl then add the pomegranate seeds, sautéed shallots, lime zest and orange zest. Top with a tablespoon or two of the vanilla pecan butter before serving.
*To trim the brussels sprouts peel off the few outer dark leaves then carefully trim the stem. Be sure not to trim it too much or the sprouts will fall apart.
Recipe slightly adapted from Bobby Flay.