I don’t think I ate a single Brussels sprout as a child. (I can totally understand why. I wouldn’t have wanted to try to convince me to eat those when I was a lass.) I heard quite a lot about them as a child. They were the scary, horrible, nasty things you had to eat when you went to your grandmother’s house. Then she’d pinch your cheeks.
Well, surprisingly my grandmother never fed me brussels sprouts either. (I did eat some other questionable things at both my grandmother’s homes, however.)
So when I tasted them for the first time and they were actually delicious, I felt a bit cheated by sit-coms. All those lies. They aren’t the worst thing in the world.
I know lots of families that eat brussels sprouts for the holidays. I’m not sure what make them holiday worthy, except that they are deceptively yummy.
What is with them being brussels sprouts? Not just brussel sprouts? It doesn’t feel right typing the extra “s.” Like those little cabbages are just trying to be pretentious.
Everything I said up there. Maybe I lied. I do think brussels sprouts boiled may be terrible. But…
In this recipe you roast the brussels sprouts. Roasting invariably brings out the natural sweetness in veggies. Roasting is pretty much magic. And bacon? It invented magic.
I love Trader Joe’s “ends and pieces” bacon. It is a package of the odd sized pieces that are left over from the nice packages of bacon strips. It was an awesome find. First of all, it has great flavor. Second of all, it is nitrate free. Third of all it’s cheaper than regular bacon (although you do get really random sized pieces, but that seems like the name of the game.) It’s great stuff if you are in need of chopped pieces of bacon and not whole slices.
To seal the deal the roasted brussels sprouts are drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I love that stuff. No really, I do.
There is the subtle sweetness of the sprouts, the salty goodness of the bacon and the earthy sweetness of the vinegar.
Score one for brussels sprouts!
Make sure you include a few of the loose leaves that fall off the sprouts. Those get just a little crunchy and are my favorite little bits.
Recipe Source: Adapted from Ina Garten’s Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts