I admit it. I wasn't born a lover of Brussels sprouts. In fact, my family very rarely had them in the kitchen. My brother would toss some frozen sprouts in to cook with his Maruchan Ramen for a quick meal, but that particular combination never really appealed to anyone else.
It wasn't until last year that I really began to love that little vegetable, when I had the chance to try them on two occasions - at the Thanksgiving food and wine tasting at Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit and then while having dinner with friends after Christmas at Osteria in Philadelphia. Both times, the Brussels sprouts were roasted, and it seems that roasting is the key to making them so delicious.
Since my boyfriend had just given his parents a copy of Marc Vetri's latest cookbook, Il Viaggio di Vetri, he was going to check to see whether the recipe for their sprouts was included. (Vetri is one of the owners of Osteria.) But I couldn't wait that long. I didn't give Stephen much time to secure the recipe before I added Brussels sprouts to my latest grocery order and started thinking about how I wanted to prepare them once they arrived.
The following recipe is what resulted when I combined impatience with Brussels sprouts and bacon. (Who doesn't love bacon?) While my sprouts didn't crisp on the outside as much as the ones at Osteria did and they were as caramelized, they were absolutely fantastic! I can't wait to make them again!!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- 1 pint Brussels sprouts
- 5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts. Trim off the ends of the sprouts, remove the outer leaves, and then cut them in half. Set aside.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place the pieces on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
- Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the pan. After the butter has melted, add the sprouts and cook for 3 minutes, just until the sprouts have started to brown. Add the bacon back to the pan and toss gently. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Spread the sprouts and bacon out onto a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the sprouts are fork-tender. Remove from the oven and serve.
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