Brussels Sprouts with Pear Mostarda

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In this recipe from Keith Pooler, Brussels sprouts see some cast iron skillet action, which gets them all crispy and caramelized. Pooler takes America’s favorite comeback vegetable and tops it with sunflower seeds and pear mostarda (an Italian condiment that’s made from fruit and mustard to create a unique sweet-and-spicy combo). He suggests pairing the dish with a glass (or two) of Riesling to balance out the plate’s herbaceousness and complement the pear’s sweetness.


Servings: 4


for the pear mostarda
  • 4 pears
  • Slice of lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons prepared whole grain mustard
for the balsamic honey glaze
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
for the brussels sprouts 
  • 1 quart Brussels sprouts
  • Canola oil
  • 1 each pear mostarda
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup balsamic honey glaze


for the pear mostarda
  1. Peel the pears, split in half and remove the cores. Keep in water with a slice of lemon.
  2. Heat up sugar, water, white wine and champagne vinegar. When sugar is dissolved gently add pears to liquid. Add yellow mustard seeds, cinnamon stick, prepared horseradish and bay leaves.
  3. Bring the mixture up to simmer and cover making sure pears stay submerged. Use a piece of parchment paper and a small plate to weight it down.
  4. When you can easily insert and remove a skewer into the pears, they are done. Add prepared whole grain mustard. Cool and dice.
for the balsamic honey glaze
  1. Combine all ingredients into a saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. Simmer until the sauce is reduced by half, about 15-20 minutes.
to assemble
  1. At Bergamot, we fry the Brussels sprouts and it takes about 90 seconds but this can be done on the stove or in the oven.
  2. First, you need to heat the oven up to 425 degrees.
  3. Place a large cast iron pan in the oven to get it hot (in the meantime, pour yourself a glass of wine...)
  4. Toss Brussels sprouts with a little canola oil and put in hot pan in the oven. They will start to brown; do not get nervous the flavor only improves. You do not want them burnt, though. It should take about 25 minutes. Only stir a couple of times. The more you stir the slower they will cook.
  5. When they are almost done about (3 minutes away) add the pear mostarda and sunflower seeds.
  6. Remove from oven season and drizzle with glaze. You do not want any liquid to accumulate just enough glaze to be absorbed by the Brussels sprouts. Remember you can always add more. It would be a disservice not to say that this recipe would be great with a little pork (bacon, pancetta, crispy prosciutto or even a little-crumbled sausage). Pour another glass of wine, and enjoy!

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