Sometimes all it takes is a photo to get the creative juices flowing.
In this case, all it took was a photo on Instagram posted by Sarah Phillips @food to cause me to crave a dish. She showed the most beautifully roasted brussels sprouts studded with glorious pomegranate seeds the other day. Oh, what a fresh take on a traditional dish.
And then when she described the spice blend she roasted them in, I was hooked. It had a Middle Eastern vibe to it, that had to be tried. It’s coriander seeds, cumin seeds and celery seeds. I take all three and crush them in a mortar and pestle and scatter them over the brussels sprouts glazed with a bit of olive oil.
Once they come out of the oven, I season with a bit of salt and pepper, toss them gently in lemon juice, and toss a generous helping of pomegranate arils over them all. This takes brussels sprouts from mushy, grey and earthy to bright, light, and exotic!
The spices warmed the brussels sprouts in a new, exotic way. The pomegranate jewels were a vibrant contrast to the earthiness of the sprouts. Their tang and popping juiciness created a party in my mouth. This would be great with turkey dinner, or even as a side for every day. Why not make it a whole meal for Meatless Mondays by adding some toasted walnuts and crumbled feta cheese, and serving it over basmati rice?!
I’ve been making this recipe for three years now. And I thought I’d add a slight variation. Keep everything the same, except instead of pomegranate arils, why not use chopped toasted hazelnuts? I did that this year for our annual family Turkey dinner, and my sister-in-law swears that for the first time, she likes brussels sprouts!! And she didn’t say it just once, but several times for emphasis!!
Thanks Sarah, for the inspiration. Hopefully we can all inspire each other, everyday, even if it is just with a sincere and infectious smile!
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS
- Enough brussels sprouts for the occasion (I'll leave it to you to determine if this will be a side or the main course, and how many you are feeding) Assume that each person can eat 3-4 sprouts which have been halved
- olive oil enough to coat everything lightly
- ground cumin
- coriander seed (or ground coriander if this is all you have)
- celery seed
- lemon juice for drizzling afterwards
- kosher salt
- cracked pepper
- pomegranate seeds a generous handful (or replace with chopped toasted hazelnuts)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Trim and cut brussels sprouts in half.
Toss in olive oil (just enough to coat) and sprinkle with cumin, coriander and celery (adjust to your taste, but I would think no more than 1 tsp of each will be enough if preparing enough to feed 8.)
Spread out in a baking pan, and roast, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly charred. Add more oil if necessary. This will take approximately 40 minutes.
Put into your serving dish and drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 tbsp for 8 people) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add as many pomegranate seeds as strikes your fancy (don't skimp!) Toss and serve.
This is perfect as a side dish. But feel free to make enough to feed as a main by adding toasted walnuts or almonds, and serving it over basmati rice.
Adapted from from a photo by Sarah Phillips on Instagram