Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate, Feta, and Roasted Shallot Dressing #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  Ah, pity the poor Brussels sprout. Much-maligned, ignored in the produce section, dismissed as unworthy of a sophisticated plate or palate.

Well, I’m hardly sophisticated, and I’m late to my love of them, but roast the little critters and they become downright delicious.

A note: the immersion blender didn’t work on the dressing—not enough stuff for the blade to dive into, and the roasted shallots are too soft for the blade. Use a small food processor if you have one, or a full-sized processor or blender. 

Now for pomegranates, another food some of us find daunting—how on earth do you seed it? A good friend grew up on a farm in Kazakstan where her family had three types of pomegranate shrubs, as she calls them, growing in their yard. She said slice the top or blossom end off. Then you’ll see flesh dividing the fruit into sections, much like citrus. Slice the sections or wedges apart, then simply break them with your hands. The seeds will pop out with your fingers, with no trouble. It worked like a charm, with hardly any juice lost. I did notice that some of the seeds closest to the skin were greenish, not the red jewels we’re after, so I left those. Extra seeds went on salads and into our Christmas eve champagne. (Those are spare seeds on the plate, not stray drips of sauce!)

The colors made this a fun combo for Christmas dinner – it looked like garland, nestled against the beef Wellington, but you hardly need to wait another 51 weeks to enjoy it.  

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate, Feta, and Roasted Shallot Dressing 

Adapted from the Washington Post

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise through the root

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

kosher salt

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

3 tablespoons crumbled feta 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim the ends and any withered leaves off the Brussels sprouts and rinse. Cut in half and place on a large rimmed baking sheet, with the shallot halves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon 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 oven.

Transfer the shallot pieces to the small bowl of a small food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, the vinegar, mustard, honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, and process until smooth. 

Transfer the sprouts to your serving bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat, then sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and feta and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish. 

Are you a fan of the humble Brussels sprout or the majestic pomegranate? What fruit or veg have you resisted, only to fall in love with it? 

From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (Crooked Lane Books; available in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, continuing in July 2022 with Peppermint Barked. She's the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. As Alicia Beckman, she writes standalone suspense, beginning with Bitterroot Lake (2021) and continuing with Blind Faith (October 2022, Crooked Lane Books).

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. Love pomegranates and have since I was a child. Brussels sprouts not so much, but have family members that do. Thanks for the recipe.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. Thanks for the recipe, Leslie. Roasted Brussels sprouts seem to appear on a lot of restaurant menus lately. It's the only way I'll eat them. They're so different from the boiled ones I had to eat and hated as a child.

  3. I love all the ingredients! Thanks for the recipe, Leslie.

  4. Crispy roasted sprouts are quite a revelation for those of us who grew up with boiled to death ones.
    My challenge is timing. I roast them just so and then there is a delay and they turn soft by the time we eat. Sigh.