I love Brussels sprouts. There. I admitted it. It’s not a popular opinion, I know, but I’ve come to think of myself kind of like the character of Camilla in David Shannon’s book A Bad Case of Stripes. I read this book to my 5th graders when I taught, because it’s about being yourself and liking what you like, no matter what anyone else thinks about it, even if that thing is Lima beans. So, I have enjoyed my fair share of turned up noses when I declare my love of Brussels sprouts to friends and family. But here’s the thing. I love most Brussels sprouts, if they are prepared correctly. I agree wholeheartedly that those frozen little lumps of Brussels sprouts that you steam in the bag they came in, or the kind that are boiled until mushy and within an inch of falling apart, those, those are not good. But if you prepare them correctly….yummy goodness my friends.
I regularly make this recipe. It is SO easy. My kids even eat it, which sort of seems like a tiny miracle, considering their former declarations of their hatred of this vegetable. So, I got really brave last November and I made this for my husband’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Now, that’s courage. You don’t mess with Thanksgiving, but this was an addition, not a replacement, so I figured I’d give it a try. As I was sauteing and stirring, family started showing up. They started questioning what I was doing. “What do we have over here?” And then that all too familiar “eewww” look. But did you see BACON in the title?!? Bacon makes everything better. We love us some bacon around here, especially when it is making other things taste divine.
And after Thanksgiving dinner was over, I had a few people tell me they were shocked they kind of liked it. A couple of people even told me they loved it! For some reason, Craig got into a conversation with a co-worker the other day talking about Brussels sprouts and how this co-worker doesn’t like them at all, so he started describing how I make this. It is just really so easy, that it is a great place to start experimenting with Brussels sprouts.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallot
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, washed, stems cut, and loose outer leaves removed
1 large shallot
6 slices pastured bacon
1/2-1 teaspoon garlic salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2-1 whole lemon, to taste.
1. Very thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. You can do this by hand, or with a mandoline, but I use the slicer attachment on my food processor. Thinly slice or dice the shallots. Dice the bacon.
2. Add the bacon to skillet and cook to render the fat and crisp the bacon bits. Remove the bacon from the pan to drain. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat, reserving the rest of the fat.
3. Turn the heat on the pan to medium. Add the shallots to the bacon fat in the skillet. Saute the shallots for a few minutes until they have softened.
4. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts to the pan, stirring often, until they start to soften. At this point, you may need to add a bit more of the reserved bacon fat, or if you prefer, you could add a little olive oil or grass-fed butter. Add the garlic salt and pepper, to taste, and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sprouts are bright green.
5. Remove the sprouts from the heat and the fresh lemon juice and crumbled bacon. Stir to combine and enjoy immediately.
Seriously. I love this stuff so much, I’ve been known to eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day topped with poached eggs. Just call me Camilla.