No more boring Brussels: This sprout side dish brings big festive flavour with little fuss

Ellie Krieger finds a lazier way to bring festive flair to the table with this side dish

Tuesday 21 December 2021 16:53
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<p>All that, and you barely have to try </p>

All that, and you barely have to try

Although I appreciate the many decorative flourishes of Christmas, from elaborate tablescapes to intricately decorated cookies, I have zero desire to invest my time in them. Instead, I look for lazier ways to bring festive flair to the table, and this recipe is a prime example.

It starts with an everyday staple for me, roasted Brussels sprouts, simply seasoned with salt and cooked until crisp outside and tender inside. All it takes is a couple of easy add-ons to spin it into a gorgeous, festive dish.

First, I add a shallot to the pan to hitch a ride in the oven with the sprouts. Once roasted, the softened, caramelised shallot is whirred in a food processor or blender with olive oil, cider vinegar and a touch of honey to create a savoury, tangy dressing. You wind up with twice as much dressing as you need for this recipe, but what’s leftover will keep in the refrigerator for several days and elevate just about any winter salad. It’s especially nice on chicories such as frisée.

Drizzling the roasted Brussels sprouts with the dressing, then sprinkling them with crimson pomegranate seeds and flickers of white feta give the healthful side dish an instant pop of flavour, and the festive colours of a decorated tree.

All that, and you barely have to try. Now that’s my kind of holiday cooking.

Brussels sprouts with pomegranate, feta and roasted shallot dressing

Active time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Storage notes: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Ingredients:

680g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise through the root

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

⅛ tsp plus ¼ tsp fine salt, divided

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp honey

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

45g pomegranate seeds

3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

Method:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 190C.

Place the Brussels sprouts and shallot halves on a large, rimmed baking tray, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt; toss to coat. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss and continue to roast for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Remove from the oven.

Transfer the shallot pieces to the small bowl of a food processor or mini-food processor; keep the sprouts on the baking tray (a smoothie-sized blender will also work). Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, mustard, honey, remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and the pepper and process until smooth. This makes twice as much dressing as you need for this recipe.

Drizzle the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and toss to coat, then transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the pomegranate and the feta and serve.

© The Washington Post

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