Sometimes you read something and you have to say WHAT THEY HEY?! The idea is so startling you have to read it over a couple of times to let it soak in. Then you screw up your nerve, go shopping, come home and give it a try.
The thought of sweet winter squash, the bitterness of roasted Brussels sprouts and the tart yet sweet bursts of pomegranate arils all brought together with pomegranate molasses is hard to grasp. But it works and is wonderful. It also is beautiful to look at. Add a little rare sirloin and all you can do is sigh with every bite.
You can do this recipe a couple of ways. I used kabocha squash, but butternut would work as well. I chose to pull the leaves of my Brussels sprouts and roast them for a lightly crisp texture. You could just cut them in half. I din’t have a red onion, so I used a yellow one and no-one would notice the difference without being told. You might have to go to a middle eastern grocery to find pomegranate molasses. I found it at the large Specs liquor store on Sunland Park. That store carries some great foodstuffs in addition to adult beverages.
By the way, I had enough squash left that I picked up more Brussels sprouts and a red onion so I can have this dish again tonight!
Brussels Sprouts, Winter Squash and Pomegranate
1 medium to large winter squash (butternut or kabocha)
1 lb Brussels sprouts
½ medium red onion
2 – 3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chile powder
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 cup pomegranate arils (seed)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400°
Butternut squash: Cut top and bottom off squash, peel, halve lengthwise and scrape out seed. Chop into small cubes and spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Kabocha squash: Cut squash in half vertically and scrape out seed. Cut halves into half-moon wedges and spread in one layer on a baking sheet.
For either squash: Peel and cut onion into strips vertically. Separate and sprinkle over squash. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chile powder, toss to coat with olive oil.
Trim stems of Brussels sprouts and separate leaves from stem. You’ll have to trim the stem a couple of times as you separate the inner leaves. Place on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, and pepper.
Roast squash 30 – 35 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Toss squash about halfway through cooking. Halved Brussels sprouts can be roasted with the squash.
Roast Brussels sprouts leaves 5-7 minutes an toss. Return to oven for 3 minutes more. Remove from oven when leaves are tender and have a little bit of char.
When squash is tender, remove from oven. Put sprouts, squash and onions into a serving dish, drizzle with pomegranate molasses and toss. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils, toss and serve immediately.