Brussels sprouts are roasted to perfection with red onions and bacon and then tossed with tender Carolina Basmati Rice and a pomegranate dressing before being roasted a little more in this flavorful dish perfect for the holidays. This post was sponsored by Carolina Rice, but all opinions are my own.
As much as I love Halloween — and I really do love it all: the costumes, the candy, the merriment — once it passes, I can’t help but get swept up a little in the spirit of the harvest and Thanksgiving. Especially now, when my kids and I live so far from our family, I appreciate what Thanksgiving has come to mean: a chance to be together with your a family — however you define that — and share a meal, hopefully a few laughs and remember all that which you are grateful for.
This year, I have so much to be grateful for. My kids are happy, healthy and settled into our new life in Maine. They’ve made friends, are thriving at school, have found joy in new experiences and discovered a love of the outdoors. And nearly 18 months after making the move for my dream job, I still love it and am challenged by it daily. This year, I became a cookbook author as well, fulfilling a life dream.
I am lucky to have family and friends that have supported me and cheered me on — even when it meant moving six hours away.
And I am fortunate to have found myself in a time and place surrounded by people who help bring happiness, light and joy to my life. Days are punctuated with the brilliance of smiles and the melody of laughter, just as it should be. The kids and I? We’re happy.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am also thinking about dishes that can be perfect for any holiday menu — whether you celebrate Thanksgiving early or late, many times or just once, or all of the above with a variety of people.
This dish brings together some of my very favorite flavors for Thanksgiving and makes a wonderful side dish for any celebration or gathering his holiday season.
Fresh Brussels sprouts are roasted to tender perfection with sweet red onions and salty bacon. Then it’s tossed with tender, prepared Carolina Rice Basmati Rice and a light pomegranate dressing. After it’s baked a little more, it’s served with a hearty sprinkling of pomegranate arils.
The resulting dish is a symphony of flavors, both bold and nuanced, that are best experienced together. You want to fork a little of the bacon with a piece of Brussels sprouts, some rice and a bit of onion and aril. The flavors will come together, with the cool, slightly sour pomegranate bursting forth.
Basmati rice is perfect for this since it’s a long grain rice that isn’t sticky, so it will really mix well with veggies in this. Be sure to wash it well to remove starch before cooking.
And when it’s all over and you pack up the leftovers — if you have any — don’t be afraid to sneak back to the kitchen for a few more mouthfuls. This dish can be served hot or room temperature. It’s okay cold as well, but I think the flavors come together a little better when it’s not completely cold.
So, tell me about your Thanksgiving plans this year? Are you sticking with traditions or having a crazy, mixed up, multiple dinners on different days Thanksgiving instead? Or something completely different?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Red Onions and Bacon Rice
- 1 cup Carolina Basmati Rice
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts. trimmed and halved
- 1 red onion , sliced and quartered
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon , chopped
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Prepare the rice according to package directions.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a 9x11-inch oven safe baking dish, combine the Brussels sprouts, red onion and bacon. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
- Stir the cooked rice into the prepared vegetable mixture.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.