Brussels Sprouts: Make Them A Holiday Side Dish Tradition NOLA.com You are signed in as Edit Public Profile Sign Out The Times-Picayune Newsletters RSS Feeds Mobile Apps >Brussels sprouts: Make them a holiday side dish tradition Updated November 14, 2017 at 9:01 AM; Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:00 AM Charred Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Feta and Pomegranate Seeds from "Friendsgiving" (2017, William Morrow/HaperCollins) by Alexandra Shytsman. () By Ann Maloney NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune There was a time when "eat your brussels sprouts" caused many of us, me included, to make a face and tuck the offending orbs into our napkins. Now, however, these little cabbage buds of deliciousness are on restaurant menus and dinner tables throughout the city. The reason is that we've embraced various ways to to make them taste great, without deep-frying them and dipping them in aioli. (MarthaStewart.com has 25 (!) recipes to try.) If you're looking for a quick addition to a holiday meals, a brussels sprouts side is just about perfect. It can be the yin to the yang of rich dressings, sweetened-up sweet potatoes and bourbon-drenched pecan pies. Best of all, most iterations of this dish can be ready in about 20 to 25 minutes. How I make them: I shop for about 2 pounds of the freshest, smallish sprouts I can find. I peel off the tougher outer leaves and stems, if necessary, and cut the orbs in half. (If the sprouts are large, quarter them.) I toss them with a few tablespoons of olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. I put them cut-side down in my 18-by-12-by-2 Magnalite lasagna pan and roast them on a high rack in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes or so until the bottoms are just caramelized. (Some sprouts may be on top of one another. That's OK.) Then I remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle two teaspoons of sugar as evenly as I can over the sprouts and squeeze a large, juicy lemon over them as well. I toss them well. I spread the sprouts as evenly in the pan as I can and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes, checking them after five minutes, to allow the sugar to caramelize a bit but let the sprouts retain a firm bite. And, voila, a holiday side dish is born in about 20 minutes. (Also, if you put brussels sprouts in your next seafood boil, reserve a bunch to roast afterward. They are deliciously spicy, sweet. See my Roasted Seafood Brussels Sprouts at NOLA.com/food.) >Roasted brussels sprouts have extra flavor, if you first boil them in seafood-boil seasoned water. I sliced these in half, tossed them with oil, salt and unpeeled garlic cloves pulled from the boil as well. (Ann Maloney, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) When I say these recipes are so simple a child could make them, I mean it. Emma Philippus, then 11, won our Southern Girls Cook-off in December 2016 with her flavorful, pan-fried Creole Brussels Sprouts with tasso, bacon, cranberries and pine nuts. (Find that recipe in our searchable archive of recipes at NOLA.com/food as well.) >Emma Phillips takes brussels sprouts off the stalk for her creation winning pan-fried Brussels sprouts with tasso, bacon, cranberries and pine nuts, during the Southern Girls Cooking Competition held at the Culinary Arts kitchen at Delgado Community College in December 2016.. (Photo by G. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune archive) If you can't find the fresh ones, Molly Kimball has a recipe for using frozen brussels sprouts that you can find at nola.com/food. If you're still not sold, try brussels sprouts the next time you are eating out. They are just about every where these days. If you like them, ask the restaurant for tips on preparation. Among my favorite places to eat brussels sprouts as a side dish in New Orleans: 1000 Figs and MoPho. (I'd love to hear about other places to get them: What is your favorite New Orleans area restaurant for brussels sprouts sides?) This festive, holiday-flavored recipe is from "Friendsgiving" (2017, William Morrow/HarperCollins, $12) by Alexandra Shytsman. It's a precious little book for planning a Thanksgiving celebration with your "family friends." Along with recipes, it includes organizational tips, even party game ideas. And this treatment creates a dish as pretty to look at as it is to eat. Charred Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Feta and Pomegranate Seeds Makes 6 to 8 servings 2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Halve smaller brussels sprouts lengthwise and quarter bigger ones. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper to coat evenly. Divide between 2 baking sheets, spreading sprouts into an even layer. Roast until crispy and dark brown, 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once halfway through cooking. Transfer brussels sprouts to large serving bowl and lightly toss with the balsamic vinegar. Top with the feta and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.