Brussel Sprouts get a bad rap in the food world. You mention the word ‘Brussel Sprouts’ and people immediately go “Ewwwwww!” and crinkle up their noses. What a great disservice to this mighty vegetable.
Each little sprout has only 8 calories, no fat or cholesterol, 1 gram of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, 22% of the vitamin C you need in a day as well as, 3% of the vitamin A, and 1% of your daily need for Calcium and Iron. They are also a good source of Thiamine, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, B6, Folic Acid, Potassium, and Manganese. In other words, the brussel sprout is REALLY good for you.
Most people that don’t like brussel sprouts just haven’t had them prepared in a delicious way. They have suffered through great aunt Gertie’s soggy boiled brussels sprouts, and have decided that the only good brussel sprout was the one in the trash. Those people are really missing out on a wonderful food.
One of my very favorite side dishes during the holidays is my Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon. I was raised by southern cooks, so of course I love anything that has bacon as an ingredient, but putting the smoky goodness of bacon along with the sweet apple chunks and slightly bitter brussel sprouts is a match made in heaven. Please bypass the frozen brussel sprouts, and go straight for the medium sized fresh ones. In the late summer and fall they are often sold on a long stem that makes the little sprouts look like they are on a kind of tree. I love twisting them off of their little perches, trimming off the bottoms and taking off the outer couple of leaves. I find it rather therapeutic. The small ones I leave whole, but the medium and larger ones I split in half. Use a good cooking apple like a Courtland if you can, but any will do. I have used Honey Crisps, MacIntosh, and Pink Lady apples, although the MacIntosh tends to get very mushy. If someone has problems with onions they can be left out and the recipe is almost as good. I did not use onions in my photos. If by some chance you are not a bacon fan, or are wanting a vegetarian option, just toss everything with olive oil, and omit the bacon.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon
- 6 slices of bacon, cut into pieces and fried until crisp (save the drippings)
- 2 pounds Fresh Brussel Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half if large
- 1/2 of a Large Onion cut into wedges & separated
- 1 Large Apple, skin left on, cored and cut into chunks roughly the same size as the brussel sprouts
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Fry bacon bits in a skillet until crispy, drain on paper towels reserving the drippings. Set bacon bits aside. Place brussel sprouts, onion, and apple pieces on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle bacon drippings over the brussel sprout mixture and toss so that everything is coated. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake 20 minutes, or until brussel sprouts start to get brown on the bottom, stir and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until apples are soft and brussels sprouts are browned and tender. Sprinkle bacon on top of brussel sprout and apple mixture and toss gently.
This recipe makes 6 servings.
Give the poor misunderstood brussel sprout a chance this holiday season. I’ve had many people over for dinner that claimed to hate brussel sprouts, leave loving them after trying this recipe. Who knows, maybe you can have some converts too.