I don't know about you, but I feel like I've been eating for the last 3 weeks straight. We are nearing the end of what I like to think of as the marathon month of Jewish holidays, and I'm pretty sure my jeans no longer fit. It really doesn't help that this week and next week are restaurant week in Philadelphia. While I can't help what the restaurants offer on their menus, I can at least attempt to make healthy, if overly large, meals for the holidays.
Right now we're in the middle of my absolute favorite holiday, Sukkot. This holiday is all about celebrating the harvest and eating outside in huts for a week. To me, it also signals the beginning of fall, no matter how early or late in September or October the holiday falls.
I made this dish for one of the holiday meals with my family earlier this week. It features brussel sprouts, one of the few vegetables my picky five-year-old niece loves, and pomegranate, my personal favorite fruit. Fall is exactly the right season for both these things, and the dish is a light, healthy side dish that can make you feel better about eating obscene amounts of food. Because that's totally how this works...right?
The earthiness of the brussel sprouts is lightened with bursts of pomegranate. Sliced almonds add a nice texture to the dish, and for the adults, the chipotle-pomegranate vinaigrette brings a smokey element that manages to tie everything together. This is a great side dish for any fall or holiday meal.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate
2 pounds brussel sprouts
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or more, to taste)
Preheat oven to 400F
1. Wash, trim, and halve the brussel sprouts. Toss with a a tablespoon or two of olive oil along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, until everything is evenly coated, and lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 40 minutes until the brussel sprouts start getting charred a bit around the edges while the insides are still tender. Set aside and allow them to cool.
2. While the brussel sprouts roast, seed the pomegranate and set aside. My favorite method involves taking out the seeds in a large bowl of water. It's quick, easy, and saves your clothes from stains. A handy how-to video can be found here.
3. Mix the pomegranate juice, olive oil, and chipotle in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Toss the roasted brussel sprouts, pomegranate seeds, and vinaigrette together until everything is evenly coated. Mix in the almonds just before serving, and enjoy the dish cold or room temperature.