Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts have been considered a tradition at Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for centuries. My childhood memories of sprouts are not flattering. Most of my friends have similar stories. To clarify, there is nothing more unappealing than a mushy, flavorless, overcooked sprout–nothing!
But this dish for roasted Brussels sprouts with almonds and pomegranate may just sway you. The crispy outside of roasted sprouts, obtained from high heat cooking, is the real trick to making these odd little vegetables, irresistible. The Marcona almonds add great texture and a lovely nutty flavor and the pomegranate seeds add a punch of tartness that is perfect for an indulgent holiday meal.
Brussels sprouts are part of the Brassica family which also includes cabbages, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi. Sprouts were developed from wild cabbage and came from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan but surprisingly, sprouts were named after the Belgian capital of Brussels after becoming popular in the city in the 16th century. Brussels sprouts, however, did not get introduced to Britain until the late 19th century.
Brussels Sprouts Fun Facts:
- 5,000 years ago sprouts were prescribed by ancient Chinese physicians as a medication for intestinal problems and improve digestive heath.
- Brussels sprouts are the most-hated vegetable in America.
- Linus Urbanec of Sweden holds the Guinness World Record for eating the most Brussels sprouts eaten in a minute currently stands at 31.
- Sprouts contain high-levels of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber, and are believed to help protect against some times of cancer.
- The stink associated with sprouts is from glucosinolate sinigrin, an organic compound that contains sulfur: hence the odor. This also happens to be responsible for their cancer-fighting characteristics.
- The majority of commercial sprout production occurs in California.
- Half a pound of sprouts contains just 80 calories.
- Captain Cook made his crew eat sprouts to combat scurvy.
So despite it being only early November, the holidays will be here before you know you. Add this simple, seasonal vegetable side dish to your menu and check one more thing off the list.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Almonds And Pomegranate
- 3/4 cup Marcona almonds, roasted and roughly chopped
- 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, outer leaves removed, and halved
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- shaved parmesan, for garnish (optional)
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Step 2 Place the almonds on a baking sheet and roast in the uneven till fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle, roughly chop and set aside.
- Step 3 Increase the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Step 4 Toss the sprouts with 3 tablespoons olive oil, a generous amount of salt and the black pepper. Place the seasoned sprouts on the baking sheet you used to roast the almonds. Place in the oven and roast till they are beginning to brown and get crispy, about 20 minutes. Remove from he oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Step 5 Once the sprouts are cool, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lemon juice. Add the chopped roasted almonds pomegranate seeds and parsley, toss well to coat. Garnish with shaved parmesan, if using. Serve sprouts warm or at room temperature.
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