Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon

Mass Appeal

Continuing our Thanksgiving side dish inspiration, we have a recipe that puts a sweet and smoky twist on Brussels sprouts. Betty Rosbottom shares her recipe for Brussels sprouts with bacon and apples.

Three unlikely ingredients–assertive Brussels sprouts, salty bacon, and sweet apples–combine to make a winning side dish. The humble sprouts acquire a surprising flavor when added to the sautéed apples and bacon. Even the pickiest of eaters will find this cold weather vegetable tempting prepared this way.
1 pound Brussels sprouts
Kosher salt
4  or 5 thick bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley(optional)

1. Cut off and discard the bases from the Brussels sprouts, then halve the sprouts. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the sprouts and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook until the sprouts are tender but not mushy when pierced with a small, sharp knife, 8 to 10 minutes or longer. (Cooking time can vary depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts.) 

2. Drain the sprouts in a colander, then place them (still in the colander) under cold running water until completely cool. Pat them dry and set aside. (Brussels sprouts can be prepared 6 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

3. Sauté the bacon in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Pour off and discard all but 2 teaspoons of the drippings in the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and add the butter. When hot, add the apples and cook, turning often, until softened and just lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and bacon to the frying pan. Stir and cook until all ingredients are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt.

4. Mound the vegetables in a serving bowl and, if desired, sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.  

Serves 4 to 5

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