Eat Your Brussels Sprouts
Fortunately, this was not the case for me growing up. I was an atypical child because I loved my veggies! “Bring on the greens!” I would tell Mom. And so she did. All three of us would gobble up our salads, peas, corn, carrots and even brussel sprouts!
I grew up in a household where we ate all our meals around the table discussing how our day was and what we did. All five of us took turns passing the meat, potatoes, salad and bread. I was an odd child. First of all, I hated meat. I had to be cajoled into taking miniscule bites of my pork, chicken or the worst offender, beef. Often times, I sat at that very table by myself until I ate every last bite (of a 1/4 of a chicken breast), but my vegetables were gobbled up- often times taking seconds or thirds. We were a household that believed in the “Clean Plate Club.”
Brussel Sprouts are an underrated vegetable, and many people do not like them because of their cabbage-like taste. If you don’t like cabbage, you probably won’t be a fan of the sprouts. In fact, brussels sprouts and cabbage are members of the cruciferous vegetable family. The sprouts look like miniature heads of cabbage. They are similar to cabbage in taste, but they are slightly milder in flavor and denser in texture. These vegetables contain significant amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A), and nitrogen compounds called indoles which may reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Brussel sprouts can be prepared in a number of ways including roasting, sauteing, boiling and steaming. Whatever cooking method is executed, overcooking should be avoided. When you overcook brussel sprouts it releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odor. Today, I look back and think my Mom overcooked her brussel sprouts, she boiled them, but I still loved and ate them without any argument.
Since brussel sprouts are a winter vegetable and are in abundance right now at your local grocer. They are also fairly cheap! I decided to make a new addition to our Thanksgiving feast by adding a new side dish to our Thanksgiving repertoire- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon. Hopefully, my family loves it as much as I do, and it becomes a tradition.
This vegetable side dish will beautifully accompany a roasted duck, turkey, chicken or pork tenderloin.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger spouts halved
- Kosher salt or course sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, 1 turn.
- Next, add shallots to the pan and saute 1 to 2 minutes.
- Lastly, add Brussels spouts and coat in oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook Brussels sprouts 2 to 3 minutes to begin to soften, then add broth. Bring broth to a bubble and cover.
- Transfer your pan to the oven and cook 25 minutes, until tender.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer sprouts to a serving dish and top with cooked bacon bits.
I tripled this recipe for my Thanksgiving meal to adequately serve my family. Please note, this recipe yields 4 servings per the ingredients.
Onions can be used to substitute the shallots.
The entire recipe can be performed on a stove top, but the roasting of the brussels sprouts seems to draw out more flavor.