Spache the Spatula

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter

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For this year’s Thanksgiving I took on almost more than I could handle in terms of cooking (which you will clearly see in the next several posts as I share with you everything that I made), but it all certainly payed off because the food was great and everyone had a wonderful time!

I always think of brussel sprouts as a quintessential side dish for Thanksgiving. I’m not really sure why considering they were never around my Thanksgiving table growing up, but I just think they ought to be there. They are truly a great fall vegetable despite the bad rap they are disposed to.

This side dish is quite unique and extremely tasty. It’s also very easy to make if you aren’t trying to make 5 separate dishes at the same time like I was on Thanksgiving. Somehow I managed to forget about my poor sprouts in between the potato water catastrophe and vigilantly watching my rolls in the oven, and thought that I had burned them to a crisp, dooming them to the depths of the trash can. But, after being assured that they were quite tasty and not at all charred to death, it was smooth sailing!

The pomegranates add a wonderful sweetness, but also a delightful crunch. The vanilla-pecan butter smells absolutely out-of-this-world, and I found that a little goes a long way. I found these brussel sprouts to be a great addition to the feast we devoured on Thursday, and I can’t wait to make them again when I can devote my full attention to them.

By the way, yes, I am aware that the “correct” spelling is Brussels sprouts, but, you know, no one ever says BrusselS sprouts. Thus, I am inclined to drop the “s” and, as a consequence, the capitalization.

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Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter
recipe adapted from here

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 2 tbsp toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 lbs brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (it’s simple to make your own by boiling down pomegranate juice, sugar, and a touch of lemon juice)
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • zest from 1 orange
  1. Combine the butter and vanilla bean in a bowl. Fold in the pecans. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the brussel sprouts and canola oil; season with salt and pepper. Pour the brussel sprouts onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until browned.
  4. Remove the brussel sprouts from the oven and toss with the pomegranate molasses. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl and add in the pomegranate seeds. Top with as much of the vanilla-pecan butter as you desire.
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