We kids feared many things in those days
– werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School
– but they all paled in comparison
with Brussels sprouts
Forget everything you know, or think you know about Brussels sprouts. One bite of these delectable little beauties will have you singing a new tune.
I have always loved Brussels sprouts, except for a short time when my older brother Mike told me that since Cabbage Patch Kids came from cabbages and Brussels sprouts are essential mini cabbages then Cabbage Patch Kids Preemies must come from Brussels sprouts. It only took one tear filled dinner to quickly dispel that myth.
Brussels sprouts to me are, just as Mike said, mini cabbages. Being mini, they contain all of the flavor of a cabbage in a much smaller package which makes the flavor much more intense. The bitter flavor is one of the reasons Brussels sprouts get such a bad rap, that and if they aren’t cooked properly they can turn into a slimy ball of wilted sadness that no one wants to eat.
That is the beauty of this dish. You aren’t boiling the Brussels sprouts so they don’t soak up excess liquid. The salty taste of the bacon and the sweetness of the cranberries help draw out the bitter flavor in the Brussels sprouts leaving you with a very mild “baby cabbage” giving you the opportunity to enjoy all of the health benefits of these tiny powerhouses.
I added asparagus to this dish during our Thanksgiving feast, throwing in a full bunch cut into 1 inch sections when the Brussels sprouts were almost half cooked and I loved the results. Asparagus and Brussels sprouts go really well together. If you wanted a vegetarian version of this dish you could omit the bacon and substitute a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and serve it over a bed of brown rice or barley. This is something that I will be experimenting with in the near future and will post here as soon as soon as I have perfected the recipe. But for now, I hope you will give Brussels sprouts another chance with this quick and easy recipe that even you pickiest eater will enjoy. (p.s. my kiddo’s aren’t fans of feta, so I always serve theirs first and sprinkle mine with feta once it is on my plate)