Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses, Walnuts, and Parmesan

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 consider 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 thought 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 in a covered 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 to pick it up if you’re going to the store anyway. You can just use balsamic vinegar if neither of those things are true.

The Brussels sprouts turn bright green and tender while they steam, then crisp and golden brown while they fry. Then they are coated with a slow, thick drizzle of pomegranate molasses and fried again until the molasses caramelizes onto the sprouts.

Roasted walnuts and shards of fresh parmesan cheese added at the end provide richness, umami, and crunch. Let the cheese cook a bit in the skillet until it melts slightly and wraps around the sprouts like a hug.

You’re left with sticky, sweet, savory green morsels with a punchy, sour bite.

All that takes about 15 minutes, which is the same amount of time it would have taken to heat the oven 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

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 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. Toss with olive oil, ½ tsp kosher salt and 10 or so cranks of black pepper. Taste a little one and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Arrange the sprouts 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 medium-high and drizzle in the pomegranate molasses. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes to give the molasses enough time to caramelize slightly. It should start to bubble and stick to the spouts.

4

Toss in the parmesan and walnuts and cook for 1 minute more, until the cheese melts slightly. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan and spread the sprouts out so that they don't loose their crisp. Grab a fork, because you'll want to eat this straight from the pan.

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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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kevin
    January 31, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Simple and divine!

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