Pomegranates hit produce departments at just the right time, when winter has us craving bright flavors, bright colors and crispy textures.

This side dish pairs the crispy red juice bombs with roasted Brussels sprouts and a hint of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, perfect for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner, no matter what you’re serving for a main course.

Pomegranates also pack a lot of vitamin C just as the cold and flu season is sneaking up on us.

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Seeding a pomegranate can be messy, unless you know the trick: a big bowl of cold water. Use the tip of a paring knife to make a few slits around the top of the fruit, then break it into large chunks, dropping them in the water.

Working under the water, work your fingers through the section, letting the red seeds – called arils – sink to the bottom while the rind and papery residue float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to clear them away, then strain the seeds through a strainer. You’ll get about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of seeds.

Refrigerate any extras tightly covered for several days. They’re great tossed in winter salads.

Yes, you eat the whole aril. The little crunchy bit inside, surrounded by a pocket of bright red pomegranate juice, is a good source of fiber as well.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate and pecans

  • 1 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • About 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar*
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Trim the tough bottoms from each Brussels sprout, peel away any discolored leaves, and cut into halves or quarters. (If any leaves fall free, toss them in, too. They’ll get as crispy as potato chips.)

Toss with the oil, sprinkle with the salt, and place on a roasting pan or baking sheet, cut sides down. Place in the oven and roast about 20 minutes, until the cut sides are getting brown.

Remove from oven, add the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and pecans, stirring well to coat everything. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are tender when you poke them with the tip of a knife.

Remove from the oven and add the lime and orange zests. Serve warm.

*If you have pomegranate molasses, use it to replace the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.

Yield: 6 servings.

Per serving: 171 calories; 11g fat (1g saturated fat, 0g trans fats); 0g cholesterol; 118mg sodium; 16g carbohydrates (5g dietary fiber, 7g sugar); 4.4g protein.