If one vegetable symbolizes autumn, it's the Brussels sprout. When these little crucifers appear in the market, it means it's time to pull on our sweaters and plan our holiday menus. At the same time, if one vegetable symbolizes dinner challenges, it's also the Brussels sprout, because when these mini-cabbages appear on the table, you can be sure there will be strong reactions from those who love 'em and from those who hate 'em. Hence, the eternal question: In the spirit of holiday togetherness, how can we serve these hearty sprouts for everyone to enjoy?
This recipe has a few simple techniques that just might win over any steadfast sprout-hater. The trick is to roast the Brussels sprouts, which softens their assertive and firm cabbagelike properties and accentuates their natural sweetness. Grapes are roasted along with the sprouts, so they coat the sprouts with their winey juices and lend more sweetness. A good shellacking of pomegranate balsamic vinegar toward the end of the roasting provides a lip-smacking caramelized finish. Finally, the sprouts, grapes and juices are tossed with farro and toasted walnuts, creating a rustic and satisfying dish, which is nutty, sweet and not too dense with sprouts. There are just enough to satisfy both the lovers and haters at your dinner table. So give this dish a try and let me know how it goes.
Pomegranate Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes With Farro
Note: Pomegranate balsamic vinegar is available in specialty stores and well-stocked supermarkets. You can make your own by whisking together 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses.
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved (or quartered, if large)
3/4 pound seedless red grapes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked farro, warm or at room temperature
1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the Brussels sprouts, grapes, thyme sprigs, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven; drizzle the pomegranate balsamic vinegar over and stir to coat. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast until the sprouts are tender and the grapes have begun to shrivel, about 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the thyme sprigs and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the farro and walnuts and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS