Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways

An Accidental Festive Holiday Side Dish

If you follow me on social media, you might have seen me joking with my friend Armelle about my color-coded Thanksgiving shopping and planning list. I approach large dinner parties in a very methodical manner, but when I cook midweek meals, I prefer an unplanned “Chopped” approach; give myself 30 minutes, open my basket (fridge), and go. It frees me from an even longer to-do list and forces me to think creatively, using up what I already have in the house before it spoils.

Roasted Brussels and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways and a Za'atar Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Molasses – A Perfect Match

And that’s how I ended up making this roasted brussels sprouts side dish adapted from Amelia Saltsman’s new cookbook – The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen. I noticed the recipe while browsing through her book for the brisket I plan to cook for the family Hanukkah party. I was drawn to her use of pomegranate molasses with the brussels sprouts – a favorite ingredient from my Tasting Jerusalem group. If you’re not familiar with pomegranate molasses, think of it as the balsamic vinegar of the Middle East.

Roasted Brussels and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways and a Za'atar Yogurt Sauce

A Last Minute Hanukkah Meal

So when I arrived home past 5PM on the second night of Hanukkah, latkes from scratch was a no-go. I began my Chopped research – studying the vegetable drawer and the freezer – finding some frozen latkes, snack size applesauces, sour cream, brussels sprouts, half of a purple cauliflower, and a container of pomegranate arils I had just seeded the day before. Remembering Amelia’s recipe, I decided the vegetable dish would be the star attraction and with enough applesauce and sour cream, the frozen latkes could pass muster on a Monday.

Roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower

My Adaptation

I read through Amelia’s recipe, modified it for brevity and to incorporate what I had on hand. She suggests parboiling the brussels first – I just cut mine in half and roasted them. I chopped up the rest of the purple cauliflower and put it on the same roasting pan. I prepared a version of her labneh sauce she calls “shanklish” using greek yogurt and grabbed the rest of the walnuts leftover from my rugelach making. The oven temp for roasting vegetables and heating the frozen latkes was a perfect match and so my impromptu dinner was well on its way.

Roasted Brussels and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways and a Za'atar Yogurt Sauce

The yogurt sauce is a nice addition to the dish but you can omit it if you want to keep it dairy-free. Also, if you don’t have za’atar (an earthy spectacular Middle Eastern spice blend – read about it here), then just use the thyme, red and black pepper and salt. We ate the leftovers without the yogurt sauce the following night and it was still satisfying and flavorful.

How do you survive hurried weeknight meals? Leave your favorite tip in the comments below. 

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways and a Za'atar Yogurt Sauce
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6 servings
This roasted vegetable dish with the yogurt topping could easily serve as the centerpiece of a meatless meal and depending on how you plate it, it could also serve as the visual centerpiece of your holiday buffet!
Roasted Vegetables
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to your liking, ½ teaspoon or so each
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped or left whole
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate arils
Yogurt Sauce
  • ½ cup labneh, Greek yogurt or regular plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon za'atar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 small fresh sprig thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon aleppo pepper or cayenne
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place brussels sprouts and cauliflower on a parchment-lined roasting pan (I use a large cookie sheet). Pour olive oil on the vegetables and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Give it all a toss right on the sheet to coat the veggies with the oil.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes.
  4. While the veggies are roasting, mix up your yogurt sauce - place all ingredients in a small bowl and combine. Any subset of the ingredients that you have on hand will be super tasty so don't worry about having them all - even just plain yogurt would be a nice accompaniment.
  5. After 15 minutes of roasting, mix the veggies around, cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Check for doneness (can a fork pierce through easily?). If nearly done, pour on about 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate molasses and toss around with some tongs and put the sheet back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, squeeze on a bit of lemon juice (optional but in our house, everything is better with a squeeze of lemon).
  8. Place the veggies on a serving dish of choice, sprinkle on walnuts, the rest of the pomegranate molasses, and the fresh pomegranate arils and serve with a dollop of the yogurt sauce, if desired.

Roasted Brussels and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways and a Za'atar Yogurt Sauce

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9 Responses to Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Pomegranate Two Ways

  1. Deb|EastofEdenCooking December 11, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    I am familiar with 30 minute dinner planning as well! What a wonderful way to prepare winter vegetables. The yogurt dressing is sublime!

    • Beth Lee December 12, 2015 at 8:34 am #

      Thanks for stopping by Deb. Hope you are having a delicious and peaceful holiday season. I really love the fresh arils and the tangy molasses in this recipe. Amelia’s recipe was such a great springboard!

  2. Velva December 13, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    This looks so good! Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables and I hope to have a garden full of them soon. The pomegranate molasses is really a great addition.

    I barely survive mid-week meals :-/


    • Beth Lee December 14, 2015 at 6:49 am #

      Hi Velva – wow – brussels in your garden! Pom molasses is such a great pantry item – sometimes I forget it’s there and am so happy when I remember it. I loved it combined with the fresh arils. Midweek meals are tough – but I find not thinking about them works better for me than hyper-planning. I know it’s illogical, but what can I say 🙂

  3. Anne December 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    This looks amazing!!! I love brussels sprouts and this looks even better than normal!!!

    • Beth Lee December 19, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

      I love the name of your blog Anne! Thanks for stopping by. These really were great – if you don’t already have pomegranate molasses in your pantry, get some. I bet you would come up with some really creative ways to use it! Have a wonderful holiday season.

  4. Hannah January 8, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

    Beth, I will stop by for one of your 30 minute week night meals anytime! This sounds absolutely delicious and is such a pretty dish, too, with all the color and texture. Pomegranate molasses is a perfect pantry staple. I like your “Chopped” philosophy for mid-week dinners – definitely inspiring!

  5. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables February 23, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Yum!! This sounds delicious! I love the idea of a yogurt sauce!

    • Beth Lee February 24, 2016 at 10:12 am #

      Good without it, even better with! Thanks for stopping by Liz!

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