Pan roasted Brussels sprouts, jewel-like pomegranate seeds, and BACON. Because sometimes we need a little bit of bacon! This combination makes for an easy, tasty side, which also has the perfect colors for Christmas dinner. Yes, I planned that. But don’t wait for Christmas. Make it now!
I’ve been in a Brussels sprouts mood lately!
First, I whipped up a really yummy recipe for Fried Brussels Sprouts, and today I have a more waist-line friendly side dish. Next, to continue the theme, I’m doing a Brussels sprouts spotlight! On Friday I’ll be getting my food geek on and have everything you wanted to know about Brussels sprouts and more. If anyone has an idea for a spotlight, send it to me! If it’s something seasonal, you’ll have to wait until it comes ’round again, but I’m happy to do a little research and find recipes for anything from rhubarb to burrata.
All these recipes may be more sprouts than some people want (hi Dad!), but I do love them and I’m always trying to think of new and fun ways to encourage other people to eat them too. I can only eat so many. 🙂
Should I note that this recipe has my daughter’s thumbs up? Because it does, but then I’ve taught her well and she enjoys Brussels sprouts.
These sprouts were ones I cut right off the stalk, so they were particularly fresh. If you see sprouts on the stalk in your market, snag them! Stalks come in different sizes, but they usually – in my experience – have 2+ pounds of sprouts on them. That’s enough for a couple of recipes.
On or off the stalk, look for sprouts that are firm and bright green and look fairly crisp. Soft, sad looking Brussels sprouts are nobody’s friend.
As for the pomegranate, you want a bright red fruit that is nice and firm. However, you may still get some ‘not so fresh’ seeds inside when you open it, since like any fruit it can go soft in spots. Just discard any seeds which are dully colored or soft.
Tip: Extra pomegranate seeds are lovely in salads, added to oatmeal, stirred into yogurt for breakfast, used in cocktails, or as part of a fruit salad!
For this recipe I once again pan roasted them in my cast iron skillet (a Lodge 12-inch skillet – I love it!), as I did for my Brussels Sprout and Blue Cheese Salad. It only takes about 10 minutes for them to brown and soften, which makes this (and the salad) a great, quick side!
I’ve tried the recipe with both pancetta and bacon, and it’s great with either. Use whichever you have in the house, or feel like picking up at the market. I’ve also tried it with just the Brussels sprouts and pomegranate, and I’m going to say it needs that extra oomph it gets from the bacon and the bacon fat. So, you can choose your bacon, but don’t skip it entirely. 🙂
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- In a large heavy-duty skillet, preferably cast iron, cook the bacon until crispy over medium low heat. Transfer the bacon to a plate.
- Leave 2 tbsp of the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, the the sprouts are well browned all over and just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add more bacon fat back to the skillet if needed. Add the pomegranate juice, bring it to a boil, and cook down the juice until it's reduced to a glaze, 30 seconds.
- Transfer the sprouts to a serving bowl. Stir in the pomegranate seeds and crumble the bacon over the top.
Use pancetta in place of the bacon if you wish.
Make sure all your sprouts get a little time face down in the skillet on their cut ends. That will let them get a good sear.
Adjust your cooktop temperature until you have the sprouts browning nicely, but not burning. You have 10 minutes to go, so too high a temperature will not be good.
I love my Lodge cast iron skillet for pan roasting. It holds onto the heat and keeps things browning nicely. If you are not using cast iron, you may need to increase the heat when adding the pomegranate juice so that it comes quickly to a hard boil and cook down.
A pomegranate holds about 1 cup of seeds.