BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON & APPLE CIDER SYRUP
Brussels sprouts are up there with broccoli when it comes to foods kids (and some adults!) eschew. The secret to winning over young and old hearts is all in the preparation. Smoky bacon and sweet apple cider vinegar reduced to a luscious syrup does the trick. This time of year, fresh Brussels sprouts, often still attached to the stalk, may be found. Popping the brassicas off the woody, thick stem makes for some kitchen fun and convinced my leary kids that they should at least try them. Cut in half and roasted until the outsides are crispy and the insides tender make them nearly (dare I say) irresistible. Around Thanksgiving, seek out two tone Brussels sprouts. The purple makes for conversation and an eye catching plate.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put the halved sprouts on a half sheet baking tray.
3. Drizzle the olive oil over the sprouts and use hands to toss until all lightly covered in oil.
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven.
5. In a saute pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until almost, but not completely, cooked through (it will finish cooking in the oven).
6. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the apple cider vinegar to a syrupy consistency, about 1/4 cup. This will take some time, but begin checking at fifteen minutes.
7. When the cut edges of the Brussels sprouts begin to brown, remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil until 5 minutes before servings.
8. Just before plating, remove the foil from the sprouts, toss with the bacon and 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease, and put back in a 400 degree oven until heated through and bacon is crispy (about 5 to 7 minutes).
9. Remove sprouts from the oven and drizzle with the reserved apple cider syrup. Toss to combine and transfer to a serving platter.
Serves 6 to 8
32 small to medium Brussels sprouts, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/4" lengths
1 tablespoon bacon grease, reserved
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper