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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

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As we here in the U.S. wrapped up the election late last night (or early this morning for many of us), I’ve been thinking about how these past months have been so polarizing, a time of taking sides. And I’ve been considering how we are just two weeks from Thanksgiving – a holiday marked by bringing people together, by gratitude, by history, by an acknowledgement of our blessings and all that we have in common, all that we share. What a contrast. And what a challenge. I have to wonder – will we approach the Thanksgiving table a divided people or a people united by thankfulness?

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Food has an amazing way of bringing people together. Regardless of who you are and where you come from, we all need to eat. We are all hungry – for food that tastes good and for people with whom to share it. Good food has a way of softening boundaries and breaking down barriers. Food is a great equalizer. And yet, Brussels sprouts are a very polarizing vegetable. People either love them or they hate them (we had a lively discussion on my Facebook page on the very topic). Many people had a bad experience with a soggy, pale green, overcooked, bitter version of a Brussels sprout and never looked back. If that’s you, I’d like to invite you back to the table for these thinly sliced, crisp, bright green Brussels with bacon and hazelnuts.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Aren’t they gorgeous? Smoky, salty, savory, so good.  And every Thanksgiving table needs a bright splash of green in the mix of all the starches and shades of brown and beige. Regardless of whether you like Brussels sprouts or not – come to the table. Remember all there is to be thankful for. Come back together.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Yield: 8-10 side-dish servings

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Hazelnuts

Adapted from the Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan

Ingredients

  • 2lbs fresh brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 2T red onion, diced
  • 1/2c hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saute pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crisp. Add the onions and cook 2-3 minutes more or until softened. Transfer the bacon and onions to a paper-towel lined plate to drain, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.
  2. Take the slices of Brussels sprouts and, using your fingers, separate the layers into shreds.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts shreds into the hot pan with the bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook the Brussels until they are crisp-tender and bright green, 5-10 minutes. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the bacon, onions, and hazelnuts to the pan, tossing to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve promptly.

Notes

If you prefer a little sweetness with your Brussels sprouts, a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup would be a lovely addition toward the end of cooking.

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6 comments
LDY
LDY

I'm going to make these for Thanksgiving.  My hubby doesn't usually love brussels sprouts but this sounds right up his alley.

Thanks for the recipe and for the link back to Alaska.  We lived in Kodiak for several years and miss it terribly.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

 @LDY I hope your hubby really likes these... if bacon won't convince him, I don't know what will! LOL. :) Pastor Alaska and my eldest spent a week in Kodiak last summer and really enjoyed it. Come back soon!

Brandyn
Brandyn

I LOVE Brussels sprouts -- even the soggy, bitter versions.  Unfortunately, my family doesn't share my fondness for them, so I'm constantly looking for recipes that will convert them to my side of the Brussels sprouts table!  I will try this recipe for Thanksgiving -- it looks awesome!  Thanks, Maya!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] When I was in the supermarket yesterday, there were some huge brussels sprouts. So huge and glorious in fact, that I had to stop, to touch them and to handle them and say “Wow” with my mouth agape. I’m sure the other shoppers thought I was completely nuts. I can hear them saying, It’s just a brussels sprout, for Pete’s sake. But to me, there is no such thing as just a brussels sprout. You can read all about my feelings on brussels sprouts and the power of food as one of the world’s great equalizers here. [...]

  2. […] caramelization. I’ve done a couple other brussels sprouts recipes here on the blog – pan-fried with bacon and hazelnuts, or raw in a flavorful, crunchy salad (a great way to try brussels on the […]