The thing about brussels sprouts is – they can be so good, or so very, very bad. Depending on the preparation, you could end up with roasted sprouts that are charred and crispy-caramelized on their leafy edges, or steamed sprouts that are mushy and watery (eww.) And then there’s the seasoning to think about, because brussels sprouts like a lot of seasonings in order to make them taste anything but bland. I’m not sure if I’ve ever encountered a veg that was so beloved by chefs while being so reviled by people dealing with bad memories from their childhood, but I can say with confidence that if you’re in the latter camp: this recipe will be the one that converts you. Keep reading for the recipe, and see them in action at our Friendsgiving Feast right over here.
*photos by Ashleigh Amoroso
Okay, there are a couple flavoring heros in this dish: bacon and dates are what really take these sprouts to the next level. I don’t usually subscribe to the “bacon makes everything better” ethos, but here they give so much smokiness and depth of flavor that really transforms the entire dish.
Then there are the dates, which are the perfect foil to the bacon with their sweet chewiness. I found some at the grocery which were pre-chopped, making my life way easier. You could also substitute golden raisins here for similar effect.
Since brussels sprouts aren’t about to win any awards for “most photogenic” – especially after they’ve been cooked – I dressed these up with a few halved radishes thrown in the mix and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds at the end. Totally optional, but they will earn you major points for presentation with minimal effort.
These were inspired by the brussels sprouts I love at my fave LA restaurant, Gjelina, and I’ve got to say that they come pretty darn close to that version while being easy enough to make at home on a weeknight. Give them a spin now, and I have a feeling they just might make their way into your Thanksgiving menu this year.