Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Dried Cherries

I am a huge fan of brussels sprouts and am known to insist to those who feel otherwise that they've certainly never had them prepared properly.  When overcooked, brussels sprouts are mushy, stinky offenders.  But when roasted until crisp-tender, these tiny cabbages are a revelation.

This recipe is a favorite side dish in our family and perfect for this time of year.  If you've never had brussels sprouts the way I've described, this is a great introduction to what I'm sure will become your new favorite vegetable.  Let's get started!

There's a very important bonus to this dish: it's incredibly easy.  Everything is roasted on one sheet pan.  Begin by trimming the ends and any browning outer leaves from the sprouts.  I like to leave the really tiny ones whole and cut the others in half.  After a toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper, the sprouts go into the oven.

Meanwhile, soak the dried cherries in balsamic vinegar.  This both softens and flavors the fruit.  You can purchase sliced or slivered almonds, but my preference is to chop raw, whole almonds myself.  This results in chunky, irregular pieces that get really crunchy and toasty in the oven.

The almonds are added to the pan when the sprouts are partially roasted.  Then the cherries and their vinegar bath are added just as soon as everything comes out.  The heat of the pan will take the harsh acidity from the vinegar and soften the fruit further.  And that's literally all there is to it.

I could seriously make a meal out of these alone.  But if you need a little inspiration for a more complete meal, these are wonderful with all roasted meats, grilled chops, and the like, with potatoes or wild rice alongside.  Or serve them with a soft egg on top for extra protein instead.  They also make excellent leftovers, as they are delicious hot or at room temperature.

If you make these brussels sprouts, I'd love for you to tell me about them in the comments or post a photo on Instagram using #blairfromscratch.  Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Dried Cherries

serves 6 as a side dish

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whole raw almonds

Preheat the oven to 425.  Trim the ends and any brown outer leaves from the sprouts.  Leave any tiny sprouts whole and cut the rest in half through the root end.  On a sheet pan, toss the sprouts with the oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cherries and vinegar in a small bowl and allow to soak for the duration of the cooking time.  Roughly chop the almonds.

At the end of 13 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and add the almonds.  Toss with a spatula and return to the oven for 7-10 minutes more, until the sprouts are golden brown and the nuts are nicely toasted.

As soon as the pan comes out of the oven, pour the cherries and vinegar onto the hot pan and toss.  Sprinkle with extra coarse salt to taste.  Serve hot or at room temperature.