Jazz up your brussels sprouts this season with crispy bacon bits and juicy apple chunks!
A few weeks ago Kevin and I took a trip to Nebraska for my mom’s birthday. My whole family was there (brother, sister, sister, all the spouses, and 2 kids per sibling), so we had a big old gathering. A few of them had to leave early, but on the final day we had a mini family dinner with some pork tenderloin and lots of produce from my mom’s mega garden!
She had some brussels sprouts that needed to be plucked off the stalk (have you seen how sprouts grow by the way?????) and I was in charge of turning them into something yummy! When I’m in my own kitchen, I have a general idea of what I have on hand, but cooking in someone else’s kitchen is a different story. But, all you have to do is open up the fridge and cupboards, take a quick inventory, then make a plan from there.
I was instantly drawn to the leftover bacon we had from another meal along with some of the apples hanging out in the crisper drawer!
Both brussels sprouts and asparagus are two veggies that have grown on me considerably in the last year, and one way I was able to make that happen was experimenting with different flavors that pair well with both. The first time I had brussels sprouts, they were mushy with just a little salt and not much else, which makes sense why I wasn’t a fan! The texture was weird and the flavor wasn’t being enhanced at all. You gotta take what you’re given with the veggie au natural, then give it a little help to reach it’s full potential.
That’s what happened to these brussels sprouts with crispy bacon and apples! Start by sautéing the bacon, then when it’s almost crispy, in goes the apple to soak up all that bacon fat and start softening. While that’s happening, boil your sprouts until just starting to soften (we don’t want to let them go mushy). Apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and brown sugar goes in with the apples and bacon, cooks down for a few minutes into a nice glaze, then the strained sprouts gets tossed in the mix and you’ve got a side dish worthy to be at a festive meal!
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 5 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- In a large skillet, fry chopped bacon until almost crispy.
- Add diced apple, stir, and cook over medium high heat until apples are easily pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes.
- Add brown sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar to the skillet, stir, and cook over low heat.
- In a medium sized saucepan, bring 6 cups of water to a bowl. Add brussels sprouts and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Drain sprouts and then toss in skillet with bacon, apples, and sauce.
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