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Meliz Berg’s Sticky Pan-fried Brussels Sprouts

by Meliz Berg

The humble Brussels sprout is drizzled with honey and pomegranate molasses and pan-fried until sticky, sweet and charred in this easy Christmas side dish. Meliz has included a microwave cooking method to help keep energy usage down for this recipe.

Introduction

The only way I knew brussels sprouts to be served when I was younger, was the Cypriot way; with lashings of extra virgin olive, lemon juice and a good sprinkling of salt. Although I still love them, and any boiled vegetables, this way, I adore the sweet and sticky texture and flavour they adopt when halved and charred in a pan with some honey and pomegranate molasses, which is how I like to serve them most during the festive season. I add toasted almonds for some crunch but this is totally optional; if you do have a few nuts to hand, be it walnuts, pine nuts, hazelnuts etc and fancy chucking them in, then make sure they’re toasted first for extra flavour. You can blanch the brussels sprouts the day before and store them in the fridge overnight so that all you have to do on the day you are serving them is pan-fry.

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Ingredients

500g Brussels sprouts, washed, cleaned and cut in half (from the top to the root, essentially vertically)
¼ tsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp coarse black pepper
¼ tsp dried mint
1 tbsp toasted flaked almonds, or any toasted nuts of choice (optional)

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Method

Place the brussels sprouts in a small pan, fill with just enough cold water to cover them and most of the salt, bring up to the boil then simmer for no longer than 90 seconds. Drain immediately in a colander, pour over a little cold water to slow down the cooking process, and allow to dry out for a couple of minutes. Alternatively, place them in a heatproof bowl, fill with just enough water to cover them, add most of the salt, and then cover with some clingfilm, making a couple of holes in it to let out steam. Cook on high (800-900w) in a microwave for around 5 minutes or until al-dente (checking halfway through). Drain and cool as above.

Mix together the pomegranate molasses and 2 tbsp of the honey.

Add the olive oil to a large frying pan on a medium heat and place the cooled brussels sprouts in the pan, cut side down. Turn up the heat and let them char for a minute or so; do not stir them at all at this point. Drizzle in the pomegranate molasses and honey mixture, sprinkle in the black pepper and the dried mint, let the vegetables sizzle for another minute or so before stirring, give them another minute so that the sticky liquid reduces down, stir again, then pour them straight into a serving dish. Drizzle over the remaining honey and a sprinkling of sea salt to serve.

Finish with the toasted nuts if using.

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