My cousin Kathryn called last week looking for Thanksgiving ideas, so this post is for her. I’ll be making these sprouts next Thursday, along with this pie. When I made this last night, we ate it warm, but for thanksgiving I will prepare it a couple hours before dinner and serve it as a room temperature salad (if only because next week there will be 10 people vying for very limited stove space and trying to get a hot dish to the table is a fast way to create a lot of anxiety – I think right around crunch time, I’ll step out of the kitchen with a glass of wine and leave the hot dishes to others). Because the leaves are removed (tedious but character building) from their small head and cooked only briefly, they maintain their shape without getting limp or soggy and are a bit more like a fresh salad than cooked greens. Talley hasn’t always liked the brussels sprout dishes I’ve prepared, neither have I for that matter, but this one we both really liked.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples
- 2 slices of thick cut bacon, diced
- 1/2-3/4 cup diced apple (or turnip)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 1/2 pounds large brussels sprouts, trimmed, leaves separated from cores (about 8 cups), cores discarded
- 3/4 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios, hazel nuts or almonds
- A few generous squeezes of fresh lemon juice
- A few tablespoons of finely grated hard cheese – we used an aged goat gouda, but parmesan would work as well
Heat oil in large skillet over medium and toss in diced bacon. Cook until done and then transfer them to a paper towel. Add your diced apples or turnip to the pan that you cooked the bacon in and cook for about 2-4 minutes – until soft but not mushy. Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and stir 20 seconds. Add Brussels sprout leaves and sauté until leaves begin to soften but are still bright green, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, drizzle with lemon juice and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and sprinkle with bacon and nuts.
Serves 6 as a side
NOTE: If you are going to double the recipe, I’d advise cooking the sprouts in a couple batches – if you crowd the pan too much they create too much steam and by the time you get them all cooked, you’ll probably wind up with some over cooked leaves.