Growing up, I was lucky–I never had a parent who told me to eat my vegetables. I remember watching TV shows where parents forced their children to eat all their broccoli, and thinking it was strange. My mother told me that ice cream was a health food: “Vitamin D, calcium, and all the food groups.”
As a result of the ice cream propaganda, I didn’t try vegetables like brussels sprouts until I was an adult. The first brussels sprouts recipe I made was from Bon Appetit–it had golden raisins, and looked delicious in the picture. Luckily, it turned out well; if it hadn’t, I might not have ever gotten over the image of child actors making a face, and pushing brussels sprouts to the side of their dinner plate.
Recently, I came across a brussels sprouts recipe with cranberries and pecans, and I knew I had to try it. The farmers market near my apartment is full of fresh, seasonal produce, including heaping piles of brussels sprouts and cranberries from Wisconsin. I like buying my ingredients from the market; I can talk to the people who actually grow the produce, and it makes me feel more connected to the food.
This recipe for brussels sprouts was the best one I’ve ever tried. The cranberries were juicy and tart, the pecans added a nice crunch and nutty flavor, and the sprinkling of goat cheese on top paired well with the cranberries. The balsamic-maple syrup glaze didn’t overshadow the other ingredients, and reminded me of Fall.
I served the sprouts over bulgur, but you can also use barley, farro, or whatever you have on hand.
And trust me–you won’t want to push this to the side of your dinner plate.
Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans (adapted from here)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, de-stemmed and halved
- ⅔ cup fresh cranberries
- ⅓ cup goat cheese, crumbled
- ⅓ cup pecans
- 2 cups bulgur, cooked
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Heat skillet with drizzling of olive oil over medium heat. Combine Brussels sprouts and cranberries in skillet and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook bulgur in small pot according to package directions.
- Cook sprouts and cranberries for 8-10 minutes, until berries begin to burst and sprouts become tender. Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Stir to coat and remove from heat.
- Toss bulgur, sprouts, cranberries, and pecans in a large bowl. Top with goat cheese and serve.