When I posted my recap of our Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, I was pretty shocked to see that the recipe people were most interested in was my Brussels sprouts recipe. Oh how the kid version of you guys would be disgusted!
I’m relatively new to the world of the B-sprouts. I’m sure my parents had me try them as a kid and I said, “YUCK!” and spit them back out. But as an adult? I just started to get on the Brussels train last year. I love how sweet, crunchy and caramelized the little leaves get when roasted. They are amazing roasted on their own with just a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, but I wanted to up the ante a bit for Thanksgiving.
Because Brussels naturally get sweet when roasted, it works well to pair them with other sweet foods like apples and maple syrup. A little bit of salty bacon helps keep the flavor from tipping too far to the sugar-y side. While I used this as a side for Thanksgiving, it comes together in a flash and would be a great veggie side for any dinner.
To prepare Brussels sprouts for cooking, I like to lop off the stem end of each sprout with a sharp knife and then half them. By halving them, I find that the roasted yummy flavor gets in every little crevice of the sprout. It is worth the extra time it takes to slice and dice ’em. When looking for Brussels in the store, look for smallish, tightly packed sprouts. You’ll lose a few leaves when trimming, but ideally, the sprout should mostly stay together.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and like most cabbage, contain sulfur. The longer the Brussels cook, the stronger the sulfur smell and taste become. Not good eats for kids (or adults). Avoid the dreaded kid spit out by roasting these babies until they are just tender and brown.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
- 1 large tart apple, cored and diced
- 4 slices, thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°
- In a large bowl, combine sprouts, apple and bacon and stir until evenly distributed.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
- Pour olive oil mixture over sprout mixture and toss to coat.
- Pour out the sprout mixture in one layer onto a greased cookie sheet. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Roast in oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking, or until sprouts are tender and brown.