Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Marinated Pomelo
Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Dietitian at Nourish Northwest
Last weekend, I decided to host a dinner party using three recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More cookbook. I’ve posted a recipe from this cookbook before when I tried to follow a recipe. I learned my lesson and will not be attempting to follow a recipe perfectly anytime soon. The challenge here was to satisfy, if not impress, my meat-loving friends who often have my family and me over for impromptu dinner parties. I will spoil it now and say that this lacto-ovo feast was filling and flavorful. I made a raw celery and green pepper salad topped with soft boiled eggs and feta, roasted Brussels sprouts with marinated pomelo and, for a main course, roasted butternut squash spears over buckwheat polenta.
I conducted an informal survey to determine the winning recipe. The Brussels sprouts were a clear winner for taste; the polenta won on the satiation scale. So, I will go on taste and share the sprouts recipe with you here. I made few modifications to the dish. It had many steps and it is hard to tell which of these could be left out in order to simplify the dish. The recipe called to blanch the whole Brussels sprouts and shallots for a couple minutes before roasting. This would be the step I would leave out, if any.
The first step was to segment and marinate the pomelo flesh in a simple syrup spiced with star anise and cinnamon sticks. Definitely do not leave this step out!
The balance of flavors was intense and complex. The grapefruit-like bitterness of the pomelo balanced the sweetly spiced syrup. The roasted umami of the Brussels sprouts and shallots played well with the sour citrus dressing. Enough descriptors…here’s the recipe:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Marinated Pomelo
(Recipe adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise pods
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 pomelo (2 lb/900 g in total; 10 1/2 oz/300 g after peeling and segmenting
1 1/3 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
9 oz/250 g shallots, peeled
5 tbsp/75 ml olive oil
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper
1. Place the sugar, 7 Tbs water, the cinnamon, and star anise in a small saucepan and bring to a light simmer. Cook for 1 minute, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat, add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and set aside to cool.
2. Peel the thick skin off the pomelo and discard. Divide into segments, release the flesh from the membrane, then break the flesh into bite-size pieces and put in a shallow bowl, taking care to remove all the bitter white membrane. Once the syrup has cooled a little, pour it over the pomelo. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally
3. Preheat the oven to 425ºF/220ºC
4. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the sprouts and shallots, and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, and pat dry. Cut the sprouts in two, lengthwise, and halve or quarter the shallots (so that they are similar in size to the sprouts). Place everything in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the sprouts are golden brown but still retain a bite. Set aside to cool.
5. Before assembling the salad, remove and discard the cinnamon and star anise from the bowl. Drain the pomelo, reserving the juices. Just before serving, put the shallots, sprouts, pomelo, and parsley in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the pomelo marinade juices, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently mix, then check the seasoning—you might need to add another tablespoon of the marinade—and serve.