Brussels sprouts were the bane of my existence as a child. The mere mention of them would send me into fits of eye-rolling, gagging and desperate complaining with the hope of being spared from their inherent repulsiveness. My parents would insist that they liked them and I could only assume that they were either a) blatantly lying or b) insane.
Fast forward twenty years and I find myself at the market, buying a pint of Brussels sprouts voluntarily. What has gotten in to me? It started back in the summer with reports of a friend making absolutely delectable Brussels sprouts for a group of eight or so. So the story goes, people were actually fighting (cordially…but still) over the last few sprouts. After verifying this story and hearing said people swear up and down that they were great, I began to rethink my stance. If all those people – most of whom hated Brussels sprouts as kids – liked them now, maybe it was time to give them another chance. Flipping through the NYT cookbook, I came across a recipe that looked easy and, importantly, included bacon. Bacon makes everything better, as far as I can tell.
This recipe does require you to do a few steps, but if you have a food processor, it is well worth using it! Alternatively, if you have Brussels sprouts large enough, you could shred them on a box grater. Just watch your fingers!
1 pint Brussels sprouts
3 strips bacon, diced
1/4 c pine nuts
3 scallions, finely sliced
1/4 ts nutmeg
salt & pepper
1. Trim the Brussels sprouts. If you have time/desire to, you can core them as well but it’s not necessary. In batches, shred in the food processor.
2. Fry the diced bacon until crispy, roughly 10 minutes. When cooked, remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
3. Add the pine nuts to the pan with the bacon fat and cook over a medium-low heat until the pine nuts have turned a light brown. (2-3 minutes.)
4. Add the sprouts, scallions and nutmeg. Cook until the sprouts are done, roughly 6-8 minutes. They should be bright green.
5. Stir in the bacon pieces and season with plenty of salt and pepper. (Make sure you taste, though, as the bacon is salty, too.)