Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I didn't grow up eating Brussels sprouts.  I have no idea why.  I spent most of my childhood in a rural community surrounded by farmland and fresh produce.  Somehow we escaped Brussels sprouts and all I knew is that kids on television always complained about having to eat them.  I assumed they were slimy and bland. 

At some point in my early adulthood I finally tasted a Brussels sprout.  To my surprise it tasted crunchy and fresh and not at all overcooked.  It reminded me of a baby cabbage.  Now I love Brussels sprouts and while I will eat frozen ones (most of the Brussels sprouts sold in the US are frozen), I really love them fresh.  They are a cool weather crop, so I had my fill of them this fall.  Although it's the first full day of winter and I'm a bit late posting about fall produce, I wanted to share the joys of this underrated vegetable.

E works in Lancaster County, PA so he drives all through God's country on his daily commute.  He passes tons of roadside farm stands and Amish buggies every day.  He can get a bag full of vegetables for like $2, so when he saw this for $1, he had to stop and bring it home:

Brussels sprouts grow on stalks.  When you buy them fresh in the grocery store you don't normally get the stalk (and if you do, it will cost you about $7 in these parts).  We got this entire stalk (about 1/2 pound of sprouts) for $1!  It's one of those little things that makes me so happy.

I took a few minutes to pluck each individual sprout off the stalk and then I rinsed them.  I decided to saute them and serve them with bacon.  It was pretty delicious, simple, and pretty good for you (minus the pork fat).  This recipe will only work with fresh Brussels sprouts.  Frozen sprouts are too wet and they won't saute.  Depending on where you live you should be able to get Brussels sprouts in your grocery store or farmers market right now.  Give them a try, you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
a Keeley original
serves 4

1/2-3/4 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
5 slices of bacon
salt and pepper, to taste

In a wide saute pan (at least 10 inches wide, preferably not nonstick), cook bacon over medium high heat.  Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towels to cool.  Leave bacon fat in the pan.

Add dry Brussels sprouts to bacon drippings.  Saute over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The sprouts will turn golden brown in some spots.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (Go easy on the salt, this dish will be topped with bacon in a few minutes.) 

Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover.  Steam for 2-3 minutes.  Remove sprouts from pan with slotted spoon.  Place sprouts in serving bowl and topped with crumbled bacon.  Serve immediately.


  1. I've never tried brussels sprouts...but these look so good I'm inspired to try them.

  2. I always thought Brussels sprouts stunk something terrible as a kid and HATED them. But now I keep reading about how they aren't supposed to be bitter or gross if they are fresh and you cook them correctly. And I love cabbage and other related veggies, so I might need to give them another chance.

  3. Just throw some bacon on it! I'll have to try this with fresh brussel sprouts, per your recommendation. Cuz you know I'm all about the bacon :)


Related Posts with Thumbnails