Brussels sprouts and I have quite a history together.
First of all, I’ve always loved them. Even when I was a kid; loved them. And when I was living on my own and could do weird living-on-your-own-with-no-one-else-to-cook-for things like eat nothing but Brussels sprouts (with about a pound of butter on them) for dinner, I (often) did.
I used to make them the way my babysitter made them when I was growing up – basically just boiling them – until I realized…hmmm, probably not the best way to do it. It leeches out flavor and waterlogs them, and besides: they end up looking a little “eh”. So I started roasting them like everyone says to do…but I don’t especially love roasted vegetables (or crispy Brussels sprouts).
Finally, I found my own personal Brussels sprouts Sweet Spot: steamed until half-cooked, then finished off in a sauté pan with lots and lots of salty bacon, a little lemon, and salt.
Perfect perfect perfect.
What You Need (serves 4):
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
5-6 slices good-quality, lean bacon, chopped (you can also use cubed pancetta if you prefer)
1 minced garlic clove
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Salt & pepper
What You Do:
1. Place Brussels sprouts in a steaming basket over about half an inch of boiling water, cover, and steam until almost fork-tender (you want them to be just slightly undercooked at this stage).
2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, saute the bacon until crispy.
3. Add a little olive oil (only if the bacon hasn’t leeched out enough fat; if it has, you should be good) to the pan, and toss in the rest of the ingredients. Saute a few more minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts are fork-tender. They’ll have absorbed the bacony-lemony-garlicky flavor at this point and be amazing.