Shitake Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate
Shitake Brussels sprouts and pomegranate are so beautiful together. The pomegranate seeds, formally known as arils, look like juicy, blood red colored jewels and are the fruit Hades tricked Persephone into eating. That mischance landed her in the Underworld for six months of the year. I get it, though. These succulent fruits would be hard to resist.
This ended up looking lovely, especially that one perfect, tiny Shitake in the center … but started as a, “hmm, what can I do with all these sale items?” kind of dinner. The Shitake mushrooms were on sale for $2, the pomegranates were $1.69 each, and the Brussels sprouts were in the bulk bin for $2.00 lb. All said, this was less than $4 per person. Brussels sprouts and pomegranates are most abundant through February and March. Keep an eye out for some end of season bargains.
I’ve used a balsamic reduction here, which can be store bought or homemade. To make your own, just simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar for 15 to 20 minutes until it’s been reduced by 1/3 to a 1/2. It will be naturally sweet, but if you like it sweeter just add two teaspoons of maple syrup. Another option is to use 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and let it simmer in with the Brussels and mushrooms until reduced.
I also used the balsamic reduction to drizzle over everything. Yum.
Shitake with Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
Delicious melange of winter and spring produce.
In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the mushrooms and Brussels sprouts with the balsamic reduction until browned and tender. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir to heat through.
Serve over lettuce and rice and/or quinoa. Drizzle with citrus dressing and balsamic reduction.
To make very simple citrus dressing, whisk together 1/2 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon red rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper (or to taste).
Here’s a nice drink that’s also simple to make. It’s just some smashed/muddled pomegranate seeds with equal parts orange juice and sparkling water.