Shortly after my professor sang its praises and swore it was his favorite vegetable, I made Brussels sprouts for the first time. "They're loaded with vitamin K, which plays a role in healthy blood clotting," he said. "Plus, they've got enough vitamin C to help support your immune system."
So in my happiest you-can-do-it spirit, I microwaved them, put them in a small bowl, and ate them with a bit of salt and pepper. Not a fan. There I sat in my kitchen, feeling annoyed that they're properly called "Brussels" sprouts (I always thought it was Brussel sprouts!?) and feeling like I'd be an inadequate dietitian since I didn't like these "cute little cabbages."
Fast forward four years and I began hearing more about the secrets of the sprouts. Botanically, they're a member of the Brassica family, which means that they're related to other good-for-you vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Like their relatives, they contain protective glucosinolates which are phytonutrients that aid in healthy detoxification and deliver cancer-protective properties.
So I tried them again. But this time, instead of steaming them into a mushy mess, I roasted the sprouts in the oven so that they kept crunchy and crispy. I also added in some other flavorful foods, like pomegranate seeds (so sweet!), feta cheese (so tangy!), and walnuts (so hearty!).
The result: I loved them.
And with this recipe, I know you will begin to love Brussels sprouts, too!
Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate, Walnut and Feta Salad
- 3 cups Brussels sprouts, washed, stemmed, and halved
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 heaping cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (mine was aged white balsamic cranberry pear vinegar purchased from a local distributor)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine Brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper until sprouts are evenly coated and place mixture on baking sheet.
- Roast sprouts in the oven until centers of the sprouts are tender, about 20-30 minutes (turning sprouts once halfway through).
- Remove roasted Brussels sprouts from oven and let cool.
- Combine roasted Brussels sprouts with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar.