You love roasted Brussels sprouts for their caramelized, crispy char flavor. You also love crunchy, raw Brussels sprouts for their nutrient density. Why not get both taste and texture in this recipe for Shaved and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, along with a double dose of sweet seasonal pears sliced on top and in the dressing. Shall we?
This recipe inspired by Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking cookbook.
- Raw vs Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
- What Ingredients You Need for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears
- Ingredients Notes and Resources
- Instructions for How to Make Shaved and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears
- Health and Dietary Considerations
- More Recipes to Try
- Shaved and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pears Recipe
Raw vs Roasted Brussels Sprouts
This recipe is for Brussels sprouts that are both raw and cooked.
Though I will always choose cooked Brussels sprouts over raw when given the option, if you are trying to incorporate more raw brassicas like Brussels sprouts into your diet, you can also follow this recipe, skip the roasting step, and serve the dish as a truly fresh salad.
Cooked Brussels sprouts are easier to eat and digest. Fresh/raw Brussels sprouts have a slightly higher nutrition content.
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
"Brussels sprouts are good for you" is common knowledge, but do you know why and how they're good for you? Like their cousins in the Brassica family, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, Brussels sprouts:
- are anti-inflammatory from phytonutrients
- contain glucosinolates, sulfur-based compounds found in brassicas that have been shown to inhibit the growth and proliferation of cancer cells
- fiber-rich which contributes to good gut health and blood sugar regulation
- particularly high in vitamins C and K. One serving of Brussels sprouts (1 cup cooked) exceeds 100% of the recommended daily value of each.
What Ingredients You Need for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears
- Brussels sprouts, which will be both raw and roasted
- Pears, which will also be both raw and roasted
- Pomegranate arils
- Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Marcona almonds
- Olive oil
- Champagne or white wine vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Sea salt
Ingredients Notes and Resources
Brussels Sprouts. Look for individual Brussels sprout heads that are heavy for their size, with tightly closed leaves, and generally unblemished. Small blemishes and a little dryness is ok since the outer leaves can be peeled off and discarded.
Pears. For salads, I like pears that are firm/crisp rather than soft/buttery. All the varieties of the round, tan-colored Asian pears, Comice pears, Bosc pears, and Anjou pears have the best texture for a salad. The pears in these photos are red Anjou pears.
Pomegranate. Pomegranate is in season at the same time Brussels sprouts are generally at their peak, in the fall and winter, which is why they are perfect together in this recipe, and also why getting whole fresh fruits and seeding them yourself will have the best flavor. If seeding a pomegranate is the bottleneck that is keeping you from making this recipe, go ahead and buy the pre-seeded pomegranate in the plastic to-go containers!
Marcona almonds. Marcona almonds are the bigger, plump almonds from Spain that are usually peeled so they look white, and roasted. They are buttery and generally softer and sweeter than regular almonds. If you can't find Marcona almonds, regular roasted almonds are fine.
Maple syrup. I use an organic maple syrup that is amber in color and more robust in flavor than lighter colored maple syrups. You can substitute with honey, though the recipe will no longer be vegan, or other sweetener of choice.
All other fresh herbs and produce like lemons and parsley from either the Santa Monica Farmers' Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market.
Instructions for How to Make Shaved and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears
- Pan roast a pear and puree into a dressing
- Halve and pan-roast half the Brussels sprouts
- Shave the other half of the Brussels sprouts and leave them raw
- Toss shaved and roasted Brussels sprouts with pear dressing, almonds, and fresh pomegranate arils
- Serve with slices of fresh pear and chopped fresh parsley
There are many recipes for Brussels sprouts, and they are all pressed from the same template: shaved and/or roasted Brussels sprouts + dressed with something sweet tart + tossed with nuts. Sometimes, there are other things for texture, salt, heat, sweet, flavor, seasonal interest, body, and/or protein. Here are some suggestions:
- Instead of pan-roasting pears and pureeing into a dressing, toss the shaved and pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with my all-time favorite Maple Mustard Dressing, my other all-time favorite dressing Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinaigrette, or any tart dressing with subtle sweetness that can stand up to robust flavors of Brussels sprouts
- If fresh pomegranate arils aren't available, try dried cranberries or currants
- Any toasted nut like pistachios, walnuts, or hazelnuts can work in place of the almonds
- If you are inclined to add cheese, feta is my favorite, but anything with high funk and flavor will work. Try goat chevre, ricotta salata, shavings of parmesan, or pecorino which is similar to parm but made from sheep's milk instead of cow.
Health and Dietary Considerations
As printed, this recipe for Shaved and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears is:
- 100% plant-based, suitable for vegans
- refined sugar-free
- Whole30 adaptable if you omit the maple syrup from the dressing
Because pears are high in carbohydrates, specifically the natural sugars that make them so sweet, this recipe is not keto-friendly.
More Recipes to Try
In case you couldn't tell, we love the skin-smoothing, gut health-supporting, anti-inflammatory benefits of Brussels Sprouts. Here are more recipes to make sure you have Brussels sprouts on heavy rotation in your kitchen all season long:
- Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Walnuts, shaved and roasted
- Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shiitakes, quartered and pan sautéed
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Hash with Shiitake Bacon, shredded and sautéed
- Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Bacon, halved and sautéed
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Capers, shaved and served fresh
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Caesar with Garlic Parmesan Walnuts
And if you're here for pears, try this gorgeous Pear Arugula Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing.
Shaved and Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pears Recipe
- 3 pears
- 2 tablespoons + ½ cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- fine sea salt
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- ¾ cup pomegranate arils seeds
- ⅓ cup toasted Marcona almonds
- ¼ lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped, plus more for garnish
- ½ lemon
Prepare Pears and Pear Dressing
- Cut the pears lengthwise into quarters, scoop out the cores, and trim off the stems.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a wide pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 pear (4 quarters), cut-sides down, to the pan and cook until lightly caramelized, about two minutes. Rotate and caramelize the other cut sides for another 1 to 2 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
- Transfer pan-roasted pears to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until completely puréed. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil and continue blending until the dressing is emulsified.
Prepare Brussels Sprouts
- Cut 1 pound of the Brussels sprouts in half. Doing so will cause some of the outermost leaves to fall off. Keep the loose leaves in a little pile on the cutting board.
- Return the pan to the stove and heat over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil. Add the cut Brussels sprouts to the pan, arranging each one cut-side down. Cook, without stirring the sprouts, for 2 to 3 minutes or until sufficiently charred. Flip, season evenly with ½ teaspoon salt, and cook the rounded sides for another 2 minutes.
- Add the reserved outer leaves and shake the pan to distribute. Cook for 10 more seconds, just to wilt the leaves, then transfer to a plate.
- Shave the remaining raw Brussels sprouts thinly with a sharp knife, a mandoline, or a food processor fitted with a slicing/shredding blade. Toss the shaved Brussels sprouts into a large bowl. Add the pomegranate seeds, almonds, parsley, about three-quarters of the dressing, and ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat everything well. Taste, and adjust dressing and salt.
- Thinly slice the remaining pear quarters. Serve the salad with pan-roasted Brussels sprouts and the sliced pears tucked in. Finish with squeeze of lemon juice, and a handful of parsley on top.