Charred Brussels Sprouts + Pineapple

Charred Brussels Sprouts 1 copy

Last night, I spent a few minutes scrolling through some old blog posts from our first couple years in Tokyo. Brad and I started The Whites in Tokyo almost immediately after moving to Japan and I’m so grateful that we did. I remember sitting in our tiny business-hotel room with two twin beds complete with buckwheat filled pillows, trying to get rid of the sticky heat that hung over the city in late August. Brad wrote the first few posts while I worked on swimming out of a haze of culture shock. Finally, on August 20, 2008, I wrote my first post about venturing out on my own. Reading that was fascinating to me because it is not unlike how I feel living in Denver.

Charred Brussels Sprouts Ingredients

Reliving those early days of life in a new place helped remind me that I’ve come a long way since then. I owe a lot of my culinary knowledge to my time abroad because that was how I chose to get to know the culture. Prior to life in Tokyo, I never would have thought to put pineapple with brussels sprouts. But that’s the beauty of experiencing new places domestic and abroad: the lessons we learn about food can follow us anywhere. While in Japan, I was able to travel to Thailand a couple of times and this recipe reminds me a little of the food I ate there. More because of the depth of flavor from the soy sauce, lemon and honey on the charred sprouts paired with the freshness of pineapple. That and the contrasting textures. All of these things remind me why I love Asian food. It is always so purposeful and never fails to unveil flavor combinations that linger in your mind long after you have swallowed each delicious bite.

Bowl of Brussels

Are you a brussels sprout hater? Get over it. You’ll be glad you did. The sweet-salty sauce with the juicy, tart pineapple and crunchy almonds help take brussels sprouts to a new, exciting place far removed from the mushy, boring, flavorless land where they used to live. These would be great as a side dish to just about anything, but particularly dishes like grilled salmon or even with a burger as a healthier replacement for fries.

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Pineapple 1

Who knows? At this time next year I may be posting a brussels sprout recipe inspired by life in the Wild West! Life has thrown crazier curve balls my way…

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Pineapple & Almonds

Makes 4 servings

  • 3 1/2 cups or about 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.

Next, pull off any unattractive leaves from the brussels sprouts, then trim the ends and cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Place in a large bowl with the pineapple. Drizzle it all with peanut oil (olive oil also works) and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, salt and honey. Set aside.

Spread the brussels sprouts and pineapple on your parchment lined sheet pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the outer leaves and cut side are nicely charred and the centers are tender. Flip the brussels sprouts half way through cooking time to ensure even doneness.

When the sprouts are done and still hot on the baking sheet, drizzle with the soy sauce and honey mixture. Toss gently to coat, and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve immediately.

Variations:

  • Add crumbled bacon before serving
  • Add red pepper flakes to the soy sauce and honey mixture before coating the brussels sprouts
  • Use canned pineapple and add a bit of the juice after the brussels sprouts are done cooking
  • Use mandarin oranges in place of pineapple. Don’t roast them with the brussels sprouts. Add them at the end.

01. April 2013 by Rachael White
Categories: Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , | 16 comments

  • http://www.quarterlifecrisiscuisine.com/ Bee

    Amazing! Now if only I could get my veggie-hating boyfriend to try them… He literally GAGGED the last time I forced him to nibble a sprout. :

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      That’s too bad that he won’t eat sprouts! these are so great- and the combination of biting into a piece of pineapple and a savory sprout at the same time is just perfection! If he won’t eat them, more for you, I say!

  • http://twitter.com/cocopuff1212 cocopuff1212

    Oooooh, this is great! Never thought of adding soy sauce, but my family would LOVE it. My husband was a brussels sprout hater until I started roasting them not too long ago. Now whenever I roast them for dinner, he and our son pick at them as they come in and out of the kitchen, there are never really enough of them left to serve as a side dish (and I roast 2 lbs or more at a time) by the time we sit down to eat! We all like them a little bit burned, like you have them here.

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      I think a cook roasted brussels sprout with some salt rivals a french fry. Seriously. So delicious. I hope you try this recipe! I only used 1 lb, but you could very easily double the recipe!

  • Denise Sakaki

    Yum! Love smoky, charred brussels sprouts, but the addition of pineapple is inspired! Would also be good as a pizza topper!! :D

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Oooo- good call on the pizza topper!

  • Jane M

    WOW I just roasted brussels last night – with all those ingredients BUT NOT the pineapple. I’ve GOT TO TRY this next time. Sadly my hubs is a Type 1 diabetic and I’m wondering how the pineapple will react … guess it can’t hurt to try!

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Maybe cut back on the pineapple a bit? I’m not well-versed on how diabetics should or shouldn’t eat though…

  • http://twitter.com/sippitysup Greg Henry

    Roasting Brussel Sprouts can change the way people see them. Adding pineapple changes the way I see them. Terrific. GREG

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Thanks, Greg! Happy to change the way you see brussels sprouts- always a good sign when I make an impression on someone as talented and knowledgeable as you!

  • Raquel Podojil

    Just made this tonight with salmon and LOVED it! So refreshing to find a new side dish! I added the crushed red pepper and loved the spice to it – thanks for the suggestion!
    Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to share! Love your page, can’t wait to try more recipes!

    • http://rachaelwhite.me/ Rachael White

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed them. I’ve made them several times over the past few weeks and I never get bored.

  • Erin

    Do you have an alternative for soy sauce that works well? This dish sounds delicious, but I am sensitive to soy…

  • J. Fishler

    I’ve just written the nec ingredients on my shopping list. No WAY this could be anything but delicious!

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  • Eric Fung

    There is a new-ish critically acclaimed restaurant in DC called Zaytinya that is famous for their brussels sprouts topped with Greek yogurt.

    http://thekitchenfrog.blogspot.com/2012/01/crispy-brussels-sprouts-afelia.html