WRITTEN ON November 5th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Bacon, Side Dish, Vegetables

It is my belief that the brussels sprout may be one of the most maligned vegetables in the whole veggie kingdom. In fact, I’d never even tasted one until about five years ago, such was my mother’s dislike for them. Growing up in her kitchen, there were three things that were verboten: hard boiled eggs (any egg salad lovers had to do their eating on the porch), lima beans, and brussels sprouts.

I think there is an entire generation of eaters out there that would run screaming in the opposite direction when faced with a brussels sprout. Mid-century cooks pretty much just boiled and served, creating rather funky smelling greens with a texture little better than a wet napkin. The good news is the age of enlightenment is upon us. That’s right, my friends. Brussels sprouts are back. With a vengeance.

A hint with any green vegetable is this: it’s already dead. No need to cook it for hours. Keep ’em a little crisp. Roasting helps a lot, too. It slowly develops tons of flavor, brings out the natural sweetness inherent in vegetables, and lends a gorgeous caramel color. And hey, when all else fails, throw in some bacon for good measure. Never hurts to have an endorsement from the cool crowd.

Movin' on up

Movin' on up

Bacony Brussels Sprouts with Raisins and Shallots

(serves 4, as a side)
¾ lb brusses sprouts, outer leaves trimmed, sprouts halved
2 slices thick cut bacon, roughly chopped
1 shallot, sliced into very thin rings
1 handful yellow raisins
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sherry vinegar
Preheat oven to 375.  In a glass baking dish, toss all ingredients except vinegar. Roast about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, in oven until bacon is fully cooked and sprouts have a nice golden color.  At last minute, toss in vinegar.  Roast about 1 minute more, serve warm.

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