It’s so the season for Brussel sprouts! And although I know many people only (reluctantly) consume these wonderful green nuggets on Christmas day, I am determined to win you over. Sprouts are not just for Christmas 😉
I concede that eating sprouts may seem like a chore. It certainly was when I was a child. Over-cooked, slightly bitter and definitely with lingering fart aromas. Brussel sprouts were no fun.
Fortunately, todays sprouts are sweeter, more tender and never have to go near boiling water. Ever!
For me, my favourite way of cooking Brussel sprouts is roasting. Like this tasty roasted squash, red onion and sprout dish. The high heat lightly caramelises the natural sugars held inside. And cooking this way means they never go soggy. Whats even better is they match perfectly with a tart dressing that tingles on the tongue.
I first discovered this in a hotel just outside Yosemite Park. It was an odd upmarket country club type of place you see on bad American dramas. Lots of wooden panels and stuffed dead animals. Not a good place for a vegan but we were staying in a B&B down the road and there was nothing else for miles.
They did however have a couple of veg options. The starter was roasted Brussel sprouts. Interesting, I thought. I wonder what else it comes with? Nothing but a balsamic dressing, it turned out. Yup, one large plate filled with roasted sprouts! And they were delish. Although I can confirm with that many eaten, I had a rather windy walk back to our accommodation 😉
They were so lovely, I’ve raved about them ever since. The balsamic vinegar paired beautifully with the sweet roasted sprouts. Which is why I’ve included balsamic in this recipe, along with pomegranate molasses for a deeper flavour.
If you’ve not used pomegranate molasses before, it’s a thick syrup made from pomegranate juice that’s reduced by gentle heating. Traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, it’s a useful ingredient to have in the kitchen cupboard. It has a tangy sweet and sour flavour and helps create depth in plant-based cooking. You can by it in large supermarkets, ethnic stores or online. Check the ingredients as some have added sugar which you may wish to avoid.
If don’t have any pomegranate molasses to hand, just omit it and add a little extra balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to the mix.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, my homage to our Yosemite adventures. It’s simple and tasty. But I suggest serving it as a side dish rather than a big starter, unless you want to eat them all, of course. Do let me know how you get on.
Tasty roasted Brussel sprouts
- 500 grams Brussel sprouts
- 1 teaspoon olive oil optional
- 2 tbsp pomegranate mollasses
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- handful pomegranate seeds
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Trim the Brussel sprouts and rinse them under a running tap. Tip into a large baking tin and massage in the olive oil if using. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until the sprouts start to brown.
- Place the molasses, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and shake well to combine.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven and transfer the roasted Brussel sprouts to a serving dish. Pour the dressing over the sprouts. Scatter the pomegranate seeds over the top and serve straight away.