Brussels sprouts

With Bacon & Pomegranate Seeds

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean

By Melia Marden

Published 2013

  • About

Brussels sprouts have become an American staple, earning a place in the pantheon of Thanksgiving side dishes that get reimagined in food magazines and on blogs every year as November rolls around. The densely packed bundles of leaves absorb bold flavors, especially when roasting or pan-searing mellows their cabbagelike aroma into a rich sweetness. In my version, the dark, fruity flavor and acidity of the pomegranate seeds cut through the rich fattiness of the bacon.


  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 pound (455 grams) Brussels sprouts
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) bacon (about 4 strips), cut into pieces ½ inch (12 millimeters) wide
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Cut the pomegranate in half and reserve one half for another use. Hold the fruit over a bowl and hit it with the back of a wooden spoon to knock the seeds out. Pick out any bits of white membrane that stick to the seeds. You should have about ½ cup (60 grams) seeds.
  2. Trim the root ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise. Remove any brown outer leaves.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop them from cooking and set aside.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is brown and crisp and most of the fat has been rendered out into the pan, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside; drain off and discard about 1 tablespoon of the fat and leave the rest in the pan.
  6. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and thyme and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the shallots are just turning golden.
  7. Add the Brussels sprouts, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the sprouts are warmed through and slightly browned. Add the bacon and stir well to combine.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, and serve.