Gotta Try It: Brussels Sprouts (with bacon and maple syrup)

I’m kicking off a new category called “Gotta Try It.” The idea came to me last week when I was at Trader Joe’s with C. I was looking for some just-ripe bananas when C came up to me and shoved a huge stalk of Brussels sprouts into my face. “Can we get this, Mommy?” he asked.

I was taken aback, because he had never eaten Brussels sprouts before. I’ve never made them because admittedly I assumed the kids wouldn’t like them. After all, I have a hard time getting my husband to eat more than a few. So I figured, why bother?

“I’ll buy them, if you’ll cook them with me and eat them,” I told C. I’ve always found that  if the kids cook a dish with you, they’re more apt to eat it.

“Okay,” he said.

Still not convinced, I asked, “Why do you want them?”

“Because they’re so pretty,” he answered.

Fair enough. They are indeed beautiful on the stalk.

I took the Brussels sprouts home, determined to find a recipe that would make even the most finicky eaters a fan of these mini cabbages. Combing through recipes on the Web, I knew immediately when I found the winning recipe: roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup. What self-respecting human doesn’t like bacon and maple syrup? And nothing says fall like Brussels sprouts, bacon and maple syrup.

Together, C and I cut the Brussels sprouts off the stalk, rinsed them and  halved each one of them, putting them all in a large bowl. Then, we  added three slices of chopped bacon (raw), 2 tablespoons of maple  syrup and olive oil, and a pinch of salt. We tossed it all together and  then spread it out in a single layer on a baking sheet. I let it roast in a  preheated 400-degree oven  for 20 to 25 minutes, turning it a couple  times, until the Brussel sprouts were tender and caramelized and the  bacon was crisp and golden.

The results? Deelish. No doubt it was a “make-again,” as my family likes to say. C loved them and happily popped them in his mouth like popcorn. S was a little hesitant and said they were on the bitter side, but she loved the outer leaves that fell off the sprouts and turned crispy like a chip. Next time, I’m going to add a chopped Granny Smith apple to the mix and maybe a hint of balsamic vinegar.

Just think: my son had to ask for Brussels sprouts before I even considered letting him try them. Now, it’s your turn to try this recipe. Go on, already—and report back. By the way, this would make the perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

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2 Comments to “Gotta Try It: Brussels Sprouts (with bacon and maple syrup)”

  1. OK. I am going to make this for a Thanksgiving side. Thanks!

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