What’s that Green Thing?

Growing up, we had a book with that title.  I don’t remember it well, nor is Google giving me any help, but I do remember the page where the younger sister pokes at something green on her plate, while her (no doubt bossy) older sister blathers on about it being some healthy vegetable or another.

brussels sprouts

I actually wasn’t terrible about eating vegetables when I was a kid.  I loved broccoli, green beans, and cooked carrots.  But I have vivid memories of Wooden Nickels trying to get us to eat steamed brussels sprouts.  Blech!  I wouldn’t go near them.

And then, a couple years back, those little green things I wouldn’t touch so many years ago were everywhere.  They popped up on food blogs around Thanksgiving time, and haven’t gone away since.  Were they always a Thanksgiving food, and I just didn’t notice because we never ate them on that holiday?  Are they a more recent foodie trend?  Are they here to stay?

brussels sprouts

When I caught on that people love them roasted, and with bacon, I started rethinking my point of view.  These brussels sprouts were deep in color, and caramelized round the edges.  I love food that’s deep in color and caramelized round the edges.  I love anything roasted.  I love bacon so much it hurts.  Do I love brussels sprouts?

I think I do.

Especially, and this is where we all gasp in shock, Ina’s brussels sprouts.  The difference between her recipe and the one I had been using till now is 1 T of balsamic vinegar.  That’s all it took to take brussels sprouts from something I felt noble eating on my own, to something I felt like shouting from the mountaintop that is this little old blog.

To make roasted brussels sprouts, you will need:

  • Several handfuls of brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half.  Ina taught me to leave those single leaves that flake off.  They crisp up as they cook and add to the finished product.
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 oz. bacon, 1-inch diced (Ina actually calls for pancetta which would be so much better, but who keeps that on hand?)
  • 1 T syrupy balsamic vinegar (Really good balsamic vinegar is syrupy.  Balsamic vinegar that you boil to half it’s size is syrupy.  Balsamic vinegar that we peons buy is not syrupy but will work just fine.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Place the brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper.  Spread bacon pieces all over the baking sheet.  Give everything a good toss so it’s combined.  Roast for 35 minutes, stopping to toss things again halfway through.

When the brussels sprouts are fresh out of the oven, drizzle them with the balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.

7 thoughts on “What’s that Green Thing?

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