Brussels Sprouts. Has there ever been two more maligned words in the English language? Brussels sprouts… Objects of ridicule and scorn. Every child’s worst nightmare.
My brother is famous in our family for his hatred of brussels sprouts. He used to hide them in his napkin, then behind the curtains in the dining room, where my mom found them days later. But considering how they were probably cooked, his hatred was understandable. Many of us grew up eating brussels sprouts when the preferred cooking method of the time was to just boil the hell out of it. The brussels sprouts we ate as youngsters were not fresh, probably frozen, and served without any kind of sauce. Yuck!
Modern day cooks know how to bring out the flavor of sprouts. Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables whose flavor and texture vastly improves via the roasting process. Roasting brings out the savory, nutty, complex flavor of brussel sprouts. Roasting is like an extreme makeover for brussels sprouts, transforming them from something feared into something fantastic.
And wrapping the sprouts in bacon makes them (of course) even better! The honey dijon marinade imparts a sweet, tangy flavor that pairs very well with the savory flavors of both the sprouts and of bacon. The bacon grease that accumulates in the baking sheet will caramelize the exposed green ends of the sprouts. I guarantee that this recipe will turn even the most devout sprout hater into a sprout lover. Try it on Monday June 17th to celebrate National “Eat Your Veggies” Day.
Note: I used herb bacon to wrap the sprouts. If you use non-herb bacon, adding your favorite herbs to the marinade would be fine.
- 1 lb of bacon (the thicker, the better).
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- Dried or fresh herbs as desired
- Toothpicks that have been soaked in water (to avoid burning)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash brussels sprouts and trim the brown stems. Pat dry and add to a large mixing bowl. Cut large sprouts in half lengthwise.
- Mix honey and Dijon in a small bowl. Add herbs if desired, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the marinade over the sprouts and toss to combine.
- Cut bacon so that it will just fit around the sprout. Wrap bacon around each brussels sprout, securing with a toothpick.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Assemble sprouts green-side down. Cook for approximately 25-30 minutes, turning the sprouts over halfway through. Sprouts are done with the bacon is crispy and cooked.
- Let cool for 5 min before eating as the sprouts will be very hot. Enjoy!