Just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes to make sweet, savory Brussels sprouts ~ by Serena Ball, MS, RD
“Brussels sprouts are like beets were back in the ’90s: You put them on any dish and it’s guaranteed to fly out the door [of the restaurant],” said Cathy Whims, a chef from Portland, Oregon.”
So then why is it that so many of us do not like them? We do not like Brussels sprouts (Sam I Am!) I’ll admit that I didn’t until recently.
But then I found a recipe in a random cookbook from the library (Do you check out cookbooks at the library? It’s the best!) for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grated Orange that’s a little like this one. And my world was opened to How to Like Brussels Sprouts. Since then, I like to think of myself as a bit of an expert on the subject as I’ve gotten several adults and a few (2 of my 4) kids to like Brussels sprouts.
I almost always have ‘sprout success’ with today’s Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts which have only 3 ingredients and take only 10 minutes to prepare.
So here are a few tips on How to Like Brussels Sprouts:
- Caramelize them to bring out the natural sugars: Roast with oil or sear quickly in a very hot pan in a fair amount of fat – or bacon drippings! Now bacon is not a health food; but it helps the sprouts taste amazing and without SOME fat, the carotenoid antioxidants cannot be absorbed by the body because they are fat-soluble. (It’s the same reason using a fat-free salad dressing doesn’t help your body absorb the carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin in a salad.)
- Add a likable contrasting flavor: Orange juice, sautéed apples, orange zest, dried cranberries, even cheese in a gratin.
- Toss in nuts: When caramelized, Brussels sprouts take on nutty flavor, so adding nuts complement beautifully. Walnuts are delicious in my Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts.
Here are some my current favorite Brussels sprout recipes:
Grilled Cheese with Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts tucked inside the sandwich (pictured above)
Brussels sprouts shredded like cabbage with shredded carrots, chopped apples and this “Mapple” Dressing
And since it’s still Brussels sprouts season for a few more cold months – I want to try these recipes:
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Browned Butter via All Day I Dream About Food
Brussels Sprouts Gratin via Meal Makeover Moms
Spicy Indian Stir Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries via Soni’s Food
Sweet Potato Bites with Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries Gastrique via Climbing Grier MountainPrint
Bacon Braised Brussels Sprouts
- Yield: 4-6 side servings 1x
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 4 slices bacon (center cut if possible,) chopped
- 2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (totally optional)
- Slice Brussels sprouts in half; then slice each half in 3-4 more slices.
- In a 10-12 inch skillet, cook bacon until just beginning to crisp, about 3-4 minutes; remove to a paper-towel lined plate, reserving bacon fat in skillet
- Turn heat up to medium high and add Brussels sprouts. Don’t stir until some of the sprouts develop a nice brown caramelized color. Stir more frequently and cook until beginning to tenderize, about 4 minutes total. Add chicken broth and balsamic vinegar; cover and cook about 3 minutes to steam briefly. Remove lid and cook until sprouts are more tender than crisp, but not mushy, and most of the broth has evaporated.
- Top with bacon and serve.
If stranded on a desert island, would you actually eat Brussels sprouts?