Lemon-Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts

My love for Brussels sprouts is not exactly new, but I remember a time when my nose would wrinkle at the mere mention of them. If you were forced to try them, as I was for the first time, from the frozen section of the grocery store and drenched in a nasty, congealed “butter” sauce, then you can probably relate. They were mushy, bland and bitter, and the sauce only made them worse. There should be laws against this kind of vegetable abuse.

Later, when I was a teenager fulfilling my household chore of tending the home garden, I found myself intrigued by these enormous stalks covered in bulbous little cabbage heads. It was the first time I had ever seen them as nature intended, and it pleases me now to see them presented that way at Trader Joe’s, where they are proudly perched this time of year in a large case just inside the entrance.

Cutting the individual sprouts off the stalk can be a bit tedious (I still cringe as I remember doing so all those years ago), and I’ll confess here that I usually prefer to buy them already cut and packed up in the mesh bags. They should be firm and bright green in color, with no wilted leaves in sight. To prep them, you only need to wash them under running water and trim a thin slice off the bottom, allowing the outer leaves to fall away. Cut them in half from top to bottom and toss them in the marinade for a few minutes, then into the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

The sprouts should have tightly layered leaves and a firm exterior. Slice the shallot into rings.

Brussels sprouts are part of the brassica family of vegetables and, like their cousins (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale), they are positively loaded with nutrients. Additionally, they have terrific heft and body that make them an essential part of our Thanksgiving day table.

Last year, I shared a spicy-sweet version of Maple Cayenne Brussels Sprouts, and this year, an alternative for those who like a fresher, tangy twist. The lemon and pomegranate flavors are simple to impart—I love the flavor-infused balsamic vinegars that are available in the boutique oil and vinegar shops that seem to be everywhere these days (or can be found for online ordering). This recipe uses the pomegranate balsamic, plus lemon-fused olive oil and the juice and zest of a fresh lemon. These sprouts are simple to make, and you can roast them in the oven while your turkey is resting. Or, if you are going plant-based this year, they can probably be roasted alongside whatever else you have in the oven.

Enjoy!


Ingredients

1 pound bag of fresh Brussels sprouts (cleaned, trimmed and halved)

1 medium shallot, sliced into rings

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice plus the zest

Pinch of sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I love the lemon-fused)

2 Tbsp. pomegranate-infused balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper


Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F, with rack in a center to upper position in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil in a slow, steady stream into the lemon juice, sugar and zest. Season with a pinch of salt and a few twists of black pepper. Do not add the pomegranate balsamic at this stage.
  3. Add the trimmed brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss until evenly coated with the marinade. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the bowl, and reserve the marinade that remains in the bowl. Arrange the sprouts, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Aim to separate them a bit so that they don’t steam from overcrowding. Roast for about 20 minutes.
  4. Whisk the balsamic into what is left of the oil-lemon juice marinade until it is smooth and not separated. Toss the hot sprouts back into the bowl and toss until evenly coated. Spoon them back out onto the parchment-lined sheet and put them back into the oven for about five minutes, just long enough to heat through and add a touch of caramelization.
Delicious!

These lemon-pomegranate brussels sprouts are best served immediately, but you can reheat them in the microwave if you need the oven space for other dishes.


10 thoughts on “Lemon-Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts

  1. So funny Terrie, I recently served Brussel sprouts at a dinner party. After dinner, the male guests said they were appalled at the idea of eating the sprouts but completely changed their minds after eating my preparation. They remembered the soggy cabbage balls from childhood. I will look for the flavored basalmic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful! Love, love, the pomegranate and the lemon with these crispy little delights!
    I have similar memories of Brussels sprouts, and I recently learned that through selective breeding through the years, a lot of the bitterness has been eliminated. That doesn’t help when someone overcooks them!
    As good a cook as my mom was, she boiled the sprouts like crazy until they were soggy, grey will sponges. Luckily, I too got over my aversion!

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.