Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

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.

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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

Olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

Salt & pepper

brussels sprouts and bacon

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.

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