Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses, Walnuts, and Parmesan

Cooked Brussels sprouts in a white bowl with walnuts, parmesan, and pomegranate molasses.
Cooked Brussels sprouts in a white bowl with walnuts, parmesan, and pomegranate molasses.

This recipe came out of an inexplicable craving for Brussels sprouts.

Usually I plan out my meals on a Saturday or Sunday, go to the grocery store, and get enough food to last me the week. I did all that last weekend, but did not anticipate a Wednesday-afternoon hankering for this winter vegetable staple.

I drove straight to the grocery store after work, dipped into the vegetable aisle, spotted my target and I was out in less than 10 minutes.

That’s what I call the American dream.

Cooked Brussels sprouts in a white bowl with walnuts, parmesan, and pomegranate molasses.

I had no specific plans for the little green cabbages riding in my backseat. Raw shaved salad? Roasted to delicious, crispy smithereens?

I got home and spotted my 12-inch nonstick skillet resting on the stove- I must’ve forgotten to put it away. I decided right then to sauté the vegetable because I was not about to put away that skillet (which required picking things up and bending over to put things away).

It was a Wednesday night and I was hungry.

I knew that roasted sprouts would be better, but I didn’t want to wait for the oven to heat up (see previous sentence). I was also craving something simple and intuitive, a recipe I didn’t have to think about (see previous paragraph).

America’s Test Kitchen taught me a method for steaming the sprouts first by covering the skillet, then allowing them to crisp up by uncovering the skillet for the last few minutes of cooking time.

While I doubted that this technique would yield the same tender, crispy sprouts that come out of the oven, I knew that if something is good enough for ATK, it is certainly good enough for me.

Cooked Brussels sprouts in a white bowl with walnuts, parmesan, and pomegranate molasses.

The Test Kitchen also touts the glories of pomegranate molasses, a sweet and sour condiment made from reduced pomegranate juice. It’s absolutely delicious, but I won’t tell you to go buy it because some other food blog has definitely implored you to do so already.

I’ll ask you to use it for this recipe if you have it, or if you’re going to the store anyway for the Brussels sprouts. You can use balsamic vinegar (or any other vinegar) if neither of those things are true.

The brussels sprouts get tender (mushy, in a good way) and crisp on the bottom using ATK’s steam/fry method, then they get cooked with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses until it turns sticky and sweet with a punchy, sour bite.

All that takes about 15 minutes, which is the same amount of time it takes for the oven to heat up. Time is saved and dinner is served.

Now that’s the American dream.

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses, Walnuts, and Parmesan

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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Comes together quickly on the stovetop and turns out better than roasted!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup roasted walnuts

Instructions

1

Place brussels sprouts in a 12-inch skillet with high sides. Toss with olive oil, ½ tsp kosher salt and 6 or so cranks of black pepper. Taste a little one and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Arrange the brussels halved-side down on the pan.

2

Heat the pan over medium-low and cover. Cook the sprouts for 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown on the bottom. Uncover and cook an additional 6-8 minutes or until tender to your liking. Check on the pan occasionally to make sure the sprouts aren’t burning. If the pan starts to dry out, add a splash of water.

3

Increase the heat to high and drizzle in the pomegranate molasses. Cook an additional minute or two to give the molasses enough time to caramelize slightly. Off heat, toss in the parmesan and walnuts. I’d suggest eating this from a bowl, like a salad, so that you don’t lose any of the juicy, sweet, sour pomegranate molasses.

Nutrition

  • 370 Calories

Notes

The earthy and sulfur flavors of Brussels sprouts make them difficult to pair with wine. However, the sweet pomegranate molasses and salty parmesan help counteract these notes. I would try an herbaceous Austrian Grüner Veltliner to compliment the slight bitterness of the sprouts.

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