Sometimes eating vegetables can be a little boring – most days I just boil/steam my veggies and simply sprinkle them with a little pink salt, extra virgin olive oil, and sometimes apple cider vinegar. But eating the same thing day in, day out can be a little too Groundhog-esque so-to-speak. That’s why I came up with this simple yet yummy side dish – it might sound like an odd combination of ingredients but I assure you the sweet nuttiness of the hazelnut oil and toasted hazelnuts, combined with white balsamic vinegar and pomegranate seeds all make for a beautifully zesty, crisp, and clean taste. You won’t feel weighed down when you eat this, but rather refreshed.
So, you might be wondering – “Why white balsamic vinegar?” – well, white balsamic has a slightly cleaner aftertaste that is less sweet and syrupy than regular balsamic vinegar. Also it is a lot more aesthetically pleasing – the bright green of the brussels, and ruby red of the pomegranate gets to shine through. If you are wondering if you need to go out and purchase a new bottle of vinegar the answer is no, but you will need to add a squeeze of lemon juice and lose the maple syrup altogether.
So without further ado here is my recipe for Brussels Sprouts with White Balsamic, Pomegranate, and Toasted Hazelnuts…
- ½ cup hazelnuts
- 425g brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
- 1 banana shallot (finely sliced)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (if coarse grind)
- 6 tbsp hazelnut oil
- 5 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Zest 1 orange
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- Start by toasting your hazelnuts. Spread your hazelnuts out onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Place into your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes at 140ºC/275ºF/Gas 1. Keep an eye on them because they can burn quite easily due to the high fat content! If you're wanting to remove the skins then wrap them into a clean tea towel for 5-10 minutes, then rub the skins off using your fingers. Roughly chop them and set to one side until needed later.
- Whilst you are preparing your brussels sprouts, shallot, and garlic start melting your coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet (or frying pan). Add your sprouts, shallot, and minced garlic and sprinkle with 1 tsp of your Himalayan pink salt. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium heat without stirring. The undersides of the sprouts should turn golden brown.
- Turn the sprouts over, add your hazelnut oil, balsamic vinegar, orange zest and maple syrup. Cook for a further 5 to 7 minutes until the other sides begin to turn golden brown.
- Taste and season with the remaining salt (if needed) and cracked black pepper. Toss in the pomegranate seeds and toasted hazelnuts and serve!