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festive brussels sprouts + pomegranate seeds

There’s something about pomegranates and their tiny fuschia, jewel-like seeds that is so undeniably festive. They shine and sparkle so beautifully wherever they land. There is also something so inherently frustrating about their construction, webs of honeycomb-ish pithy rind gripping onto those gorgeous seeds for dear life, spattering hot pink juice everywhere when you try to extract them. In recent years I’ve figured out how to go about deseeding those iconic pink fruits without making a giant mess. Just a little plunge in some water, a cut here and there and voila! Instant glamour on everything: salads, granola, yogurt and more importantly, roasted brussels sprouts. Oh yes.

The tart juiciness of the pomegranate seeds is a nice match for the strong, cabbage-y flavour of the roasted brussels sprouts. Add some toasted hazelnuts, lime zest and juice to the mix and you’ve got yourself a lovely and incredibly easy holiday side dish. Although I’d say it’s perfectly appropriate to enjoy throughout all of the cooler months.

We never really grew up eating much of these cruciferous veggies. Any exposure I’ve had to them up until recently was in a rather blah and mushy steamed/boiled format. The first time I tried them roasted I was totally sold. Nice little salty crust on the outside contrasts the slightly tender leaves within just right. Aside from this method, it’s the only way I can really, sincerely enjoy them. I’ve specified a 1/4 cup of the pomegranate seeds. Now I know you’ll never find such a fruit that contains that amount, but here’s some lovely ideas from around the internets to use up those extras:

Pomegranate, Kale & Pearl Onion Orzo from Happyolks
Chick Pea and Lentil Curry with Pomegranate from Cook Republic
Poppy Seed Crusted Butternut Squash with Kale and Pomegranates from My New Roots

festive brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and pomegranate
serves: 4
notes: Wanna know the best way to de-seed a pomegranate? Look right here.

1 lb (454g) brussels sprouts, outer leaves trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (or arils, if you will)
zest and juice of 1 lime

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the halved brussels sprouts in the oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Place on a lined sheet pan or oven-safe baking dish and roast for 20 minutes, tossing at the 10 minute point.

While brussels sprouts are roasting, place hazelnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the same oven for about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off of the hazelnuts, chop them roughly and set aside.

Remove brussels sprouts from the oven and toss with the chopped hazelnuts, pomegranate seeds, lime zest and juice. Serve immediately.


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Kelsey12/12/2011 - 2:22 pm

I have tried so many ways to prepare brussel sprouts… I must say, it’s been a tough sell over the years. I love the lime and the texture from the nuts and pom seeds though – I will certainly give it a go. Thanks for linking :)

Char @ www.charskitchen.ca12/12/2011 - 2:39 pm

Omg, I love brussels sprouts! I eat ‘em every day :) I love the sound of a sweet/crunchy combo with the pomegranate and hazelnuts! And they look so festive

Sian12/12/2011 - 4:57 pm

These look great. I may well be using the idea on the big day.

janet @ the taste space12/12/2011 - 7:15 pm

I recently had Brussels sprouts for the first time and loved them.. this is what I am doing when I buy them next. :)

Chelsea15/12/2011 - 9:39 pm

I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious. The tip for getting all those pomegranate seeds out was a huge help. :) I had leftovers today for lunch and decided to add some avocado chunks in – it was a great combination!

Yolanda14/01/2012 - 3:14 pm

What an amazing recipe and what a great site I have just discovered. I am going to cook this salad tomorrow, blog it and have a link to your wonderful, delicious site. I am drooling :)

Yolanda16/01/2012 - 5:43 am

My take on Festive Brussels. http://lemonlovenotes.blogspot.com/2012/01/brussels-sprouts-salad-w-walnuts-zataar.html
Thank you for the inspiration. It was an amazing salad. love xoxo

Alyssa27/01/2012 - 11:06 pm

I just made this recipe tossed with coconut quinoa, and it was SO good. Your photos are beautiful and I adore all your healthy recipes! The pomegranate seeds added the perfect amount of sweetness. This is definitely a new favorite!

Laura28/01/2012 - 8:49 am

So glad you liked it, Alyssa. Love that you added quinoa too :)

[…] The second source was via Laura from The First Mess who wrote about her incredibly festive combo of brussels sprouts and pomegranates. Inspired, I decided to have a go at making something that was more than a side and this is what I […]

[…] The second source was via Laura from The First Mess who wrote about her incredibly festive combo of brussels sprouts and pomegranates. Inspired, I decided to have a go at making something that was more than a side and this is what I […]

Jeanie14/12/2013 - 10:45 pm

Made these tonight and loved them. It was a very simple dish, I had nearly all of the ingredients on hand, and it was festive to boot. People went back for seconds. Thanks for your wonderful recipes, they have never failed me.

[…] Festive Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Seeds: view the full recipe and images here […]

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