File this under easy roasted brussels sprouts recipes - and also under different ways to cook brussels sprouts. You might be surprised how these Middle Eastern flavors liven up a vegetable you thought you knew everything about!
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I make brussels sprouts recipes All. The. Time. Yes, I'm one of those people who roasts up veggies regularly during the week. I roast brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, you name it, when fall and winter roll around, I'm roasting vegetables for weeknight side dishes.
And because of that, I'm also always looking for different ways to cook brussels sprouts. I love them simply roasted with some salt, but sometimes you have to step outside the box a little.
And here's a revelation - for this recipe, we are roasting the brussels sprouts whole! No halving, shaving, nothing. Just trim off the end and go! Even easier for a weeknight!
Roasted brussels sprouts pair well with bolder flavors - they can handle sweetness, acidity, saltiness, crunch. And this recipe has all of those things, but maybe using different ingredients than you might have expected.
This is a vegetarian and gluten-free brussels sprouts recipe with loads and loads of flavor. Richness from the butter, sweetness from the dates and honey, crunch from pistachios, and zippy, bright acid from the lime.
Roasted brussels sprouts with pistachios, dates, and lime
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Try to find smaller brussels sprouts for this recipe. Larger ones will work fine, you'll just have a longer cooking time.
How to clean and trim brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are easy to clean, and trim, and in general, they can be cut up any way you like. Rinse brussels sprouts in cool water and allow to drain, then pat dry. Trim the hard bottom stem and remove any outer leaves that look bad or dirty. Little insects do sometimes like to eat them, so slice off anything that looks like it has been nibbled on.
Since we are making whole roasted brussels sprouts for this recipe, just use a good chef's knife and remove the hard bottom stem.
Transfer the brussels sprouts to a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Mix together so they are all coated evenly with the oil and seasoning.
Place them in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and shake the pan to move them around a bit, and place them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. They should be starting to get nice and roasted and browned. They might look burnt, but they aren't! That's just flavor.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F and roast for another 10 - 15 minutes. Once they are fork tender and creamy/mushy (in a good way) inside, remove them from the oven.
This is where the size of the sprouts factor comes in. For larger sprouts they are going to be in there for the full amount of time.
And don't worry - now that you have turned the heat down, the caramelization on the outside will lessen and you'll just be getting the inside of the roasted brussels sprouts to the desired texture.
While the sprouts are roasting, you can work on the pistachio, date, and lime topping.
Start with about 5 - 6 whole dates (depending on size) and chop them until they are about the size of big raisins. Use Medjool dates if you can find them, and store them in the fridge as they are actually a fresh fruit.
Don't use pre-chopped dates because often they have some kind of sugary coating or they are very dry. We want plump, chewy dates.
A tip for chopping dates:
Keep the dates in the refrigerator right up until you are ready to chop. They will be much easier to cut up - a lot less sticky and easier to work with.
Heat the butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the butter gets foamy, add the dates and pistachios and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes until the pistachios are toasty and slightly browned and your whole kitchen smells like luscious date butter!
Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the dates and pistachios from the pan and allow them to drain on a paper towel.
DO NOT DISCARD THE BUTTER! We are going to use that goodness to finish the sauce. Set the skillet with the butter aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, water and lime juice and set aside.
Now that the nuts and pistachios have cooled, transfer to a small bowl and add the salt and lime zest. Set aside.
Just before the brussels sprouts come out of the oven, reheat the remaining butter you had reserved in your non-stick skillet, add the lime and honey mixture and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until it thickens slightly.
Remove the roasted brussels sprouts from the oven and pour the butter/lime/honey mixture over them. Use a large spatula to mix them all around so they are evenly coated.
Transfer the roasted brussels sprouts to a serving bowl or platter, and top with the pistachio-date mixture and serve.
Ta-da! A vegetarian and gluten-free brussels sprouts recipe that is FULL of flavor!
More vegetarian side dish recipes
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Onion, Tahini, and Za'atar
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Mâche and Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Crispy Roasted Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Dates, and Lime
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 pounds small brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt to taste
Pistachio Date Topping
- ⅓ cup raw pistachios shelled
- ⅔ cup chopped dates from whole dates, preferably Medjool
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- zest of one lime
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 ½ tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tbsp water
Roast the brussels sprouts
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Wash and drain brussels sprouts, trim off the bottom stems.
- Place sprouts on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil and a pinch or two of kosher salt. Mix them all together so they are evenly coated and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the sheet pan from the oven and shake so the sprouts move around a bit, and place back into the oven for 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to get very dark.
- Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the sprouts are fork tender and have a creamy, soft center. (Mushy in a good way...)
Pistachio Date Topping
- While the brussels sprouts roast, chop the dates into ¼ inch pieces. You want them to be about the size of plump raisins.
- Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When it begins to foam, add the dates and pistachios. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes until the pistachios are browned and toasted and your whole kitchen smells like date butter!!
- With a spider or a slotted spoon, remove the dates and pistachios to drain on a paper towel. Reserve the butter in the skillet and set aside. DO NOT DISCARD THE BUTTER! WE ARE USING IT IN THE SAUCE!
- Once cool, transfer the pistachio/date mixture to a bowl, add a pinch of salt and the lime zest and stir to combine.
Honey Lime Glaze
- After the topping is ready, whisk together the honey, lime juice and water and set aside.
- Just before the brussels sprouts come out of the oven, heat the leftover butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the honey-lime mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Allow to reduce slightly.
Assemble the dish
- As soon as the sprouts come out of the oven, pour the honey lime glaze over them and mix together so all of the sprouts are coated.
- Transfer the roasted sprouts to a serving dish and top with the pistachio/date mixture and serve.
- Use whole dates and chop them for this recipe, preferably Medjool dates if you can find them. They are actually a fresh fruit, so look for them in the cold produce section. Pre-chopped dates sometimes have a coating on them and they are dried. You want plump, chewy dates.
- A tip for chopping the dates: keep dates in the fridge right up until you are ready to chop them and they will be much easier to work with. They'll be far less sticky and won't clump together.
- Use a good non-stick skillet to prepare the pistachio/date mixture and honey-lime sauce. This will keep everything from burning and sticking so you can get all of the good bits into the dish!
- A spider is a handy tool for straining foods out of liquids. I use mine all the time. It's a great tool for transferring pastas and dumplings from hot water into sauces, and for lifting out blanched veggies into an ice bath. If you use a metal spider on your non-stick skillet, just be careful not to scratch the surface!
- Total roasting time for the brussels sprouts will depend upon their size. You want the insides to be creamy and mushy - in a good way! And don't worry about them getting too dark, once you reduce the heat to 350 degrees F, the caramelization will pretty much stop, and you'll just be bringing the insides to the desired texture.