Although I appreciate the many decorative flourishes of the holiday season, from elaborate tablescapes to intricately designed 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, holiday dish. First, I add a shallot to the pan to hitch a ride in the oven with the sprouts.
Once roasted, the softened, caramelized shallot is whirred in a food processor or blender with olive oil, cider vinegar and a touch of honey to create a savory, 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 flavor and the festive colors 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
1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise through the root
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
⅛ teaspoon plus ¼ teaspoon fine salt, divided
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
Place the Brussels sprouts and shallot halves on a large, rimmed baking sheet, 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 sheet. (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.
Yield: 4 servings
Storage: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
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