BRUSSELS SPROUTS with PEAR & POMEGRANATE SEEDS

It would be no surprise if Marvel or DC Comics created a nefarious character based on the reputation of the brussels sprout. So unfair indeed is this little green bud's bad boy status, that it has become a mission to develop a recipe that even a former American president might like if it were possible to persuade him to eat it. Caramelization is the key to drawing out the bittersweet flavor without cooking so long that the brassica begins to smell like rotten eggs. A bit of olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon are perfect for aficionados, but a bit more coaxing may be necessary for the uninitiated. Roasted pears and pomegranate seeds are the secret weapons in this preparation. The sweet melting pears and the zingy taste of the arils complement and mellow the nutty cabbage taste.

Nota bene: This sprouts plate may be served hot or at room temperature. The smaller the sprouts, the faster they will cook--adjust time accordingly. Petite buds are less overwhelming to the brassica suspicious. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 Bosc pears, halved lengthwise and cored

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

DirectionS

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
     
  2. On a half sheet baking pan, toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
     
  3. Transfer half of the brussels sprouts to another half sheet baking pan.
     
  4. Brush each pear half with olive oil and place two pear halves, cut sides-down, on each baking pan.
     
  5. Place one baking pan on the top rack of the oven and one on the bottom rack of the oven. Roast the brussels sprouts and pears for 20 minutes, or until one side of the sprouts is caramelized. 
     

  6. Flip each sprout over and return to the oven (do not flip the pear at this point) for an additional 10 minutes.
     

  7. Flip the pear and reduce the oven heat to 375° F. for 5 minutes.
     

  8. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Use a spatula to transfer the pears to a cutting board and slice lengthwise first and then cut each wedge into 3 pieces. 
     

  9. Drizzle each tray of brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, a squeeze of lemon juice, and 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds. Toss everything thoroughly, taste for seasoning, and transfer the sprouts from both baking pans to a serving platter.
     

  10. Scatter the pieces of the pears over the plate and serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 10