This recipe incorporates the pearls of winter ingredients: brussels sprouts, pomegranates, and pistachios, all mixed into comforting and hearty wild rice. It makes sense as a side dish, but we definitely ate it for dinner without reservation.
I know it's easy to purchase already seeded pomegranate seeds, but I like to buy the real deal and seed it myself. It's not as hard or as messy as you might think. There are a few guides out there that are helpful. I combine a few techniques, and that has worked really well for me.
I put a small strainer in a bowl, and fill it with cold water. The water allows the pith to float to the top while the seeds stay at the bottom. You can easily take out the white bits and discard them. I usually cut my pomegranate in half and whack the back of it with a wooden spoon over my bowl. The seeds just pop out into the water! Sometimes you'll need to stretch the peel and remove parts of the thin white skin to expose more seeds, and then continue beating it with the spoon until all the seeds fall out. Easy!
One thing to keep in mind is that you only need about half the seeds that come from a pomegranate in this recipe, so you'll have to think of something else to put the extra seeds in. Yogurt topping, ice cream topping, salad addition... Or you can double this recipe and use all the seeds.
Winter Side Dish — Wild Rice, Brussels Sprouts, Pomegranate, and Pistachios
serves four as a side, two as a main
- 1 cup wild rice
- 1 3/4 cup broth or water
- 15 brussels sprouts
- 1/2 pomegranate, seeded (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup shelled, roasted, unsalted pistachios
Preheat the oven to 375º
Add broth or water and wild rice to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat for 10 minutes (still covered). Fluff with a fork.
Cut brussels sprouts in half, or smaller if some are very large. The pieces should be similar in size to prevent burning the small ones. Line a baking sheet with foil and place brussels sprouts on foil. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and push around sprouts to make sure the olive oil is evenly distributed. I recommend placing brussels cut side down. This helps develop that crunchy outside and soft inside. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, until brussels are somewhere between golden brown and charred (whatever your preference).
Combine rice, brussels sprouts, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds.