Do you remember when I first shared our family’s favorite kale salad recipe? At the time, Ellie was two, and I joked that I was going to show off her love of kale as my next party trick. Well, now it is Annie’s turn to take center stage. Yup, my kindergartener is over-the-moon obsessed with these roasted brussel sprouts with bacon!
Now, this recipe is not the first time that I’ve cooked with brussel sprouts, but it is the first time I’ve ever prepared them so simply and with such great results. This recipe is also a great example that when simply and properly prepared, foods that often get a bad reputation can be extremely kid-friendly. (Seriously, Annie likes these so much that she requests the leftovers as her vegetable with lunch all week long. A-may-zing.)
If you are new to working with brussel sprouts, please do not be intimidated. When available, I like to buy them on the stalk, but you can also buy them individually. (As a side note, I think one of the reasons the girls like these roasted brussel sprouts with bacon so much is because of all the attention they get when pushing their brussel sprout stalks in the kid carts at Trader Joe’s. People cannot stop commenting on how excited the girls are about buying this veggie.)
Anyways, once you get home with your brussels, simply cut the tiny heads of cabbage in half, toss them with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle them with 2 slices of diced bacon. Pop them into a 400 degree oven and let them bake for 30 minutes. That’s it! Once they’re baked, you are ready to serve them up alongside a roasted chicken or fillet of fish. If you have kids, be sure your camera’s ready. This may be the only way to convince your friends and extended family that you are lovers of the brussels.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Ingredients (Serves six to eight as a side item):
1 stalk brussel sprout (or 1.5 lbs loose)
2 slices nitrate-free bacon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Instructions (35 minutes, 5 minutes active):
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
While oven heats, trim and halve brussel sprouts.
Toss prepared brussel sprouts with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper.
Arrange brussel sprouts in a single layer on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheets.
Use kitchen shears to cut two slices of uncooked nitrate-free bacon into small strips.
Scatter bacon evenly over baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until brussel sprouts are slightly caramelized, but still crisp tender.
Transfer to a suitable sized serving bowl. Serve as is or garnish with a bit of shaved parmigiano-reggiano. Enjoy!
Notes: When properly prepared, brussel sprouts should have a nice, nutty crunch. The key to a tasty sprout is not to overcook it. If you haven’t had a brussel sprout since elementary school, please give them a second try. Basically mini cabbages, brussel sprouts can help detoxify the body, boost your immunity, and regulate your bowel system. These roasted brussel sprouts with bacon are naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free. Vegetarians can either omit the bacon or substitute their favorite vegetarian alternative.