Brussels sprouts fans unite! I really had no idea what kind of response I was going to get when I decided to “test” this dish at cooking class the other night. Just as I was leaving my husband offered, “No one is going to like that.” Thanks for the support honey! When it came time to introduce the menu for the night I timidly asked the class, “how many of you enjoy Brussels sprouts?” Well about 3/4 of the class raised their hands enthusiastically. I was shocked . . . and pleased. The even better news is that after tasting this dish I’d won over a few of the 1/4 who hadn’t raise their hands. My husband on the other hand . . . Can’t win them all.
I’m a fan. Maybe because my mother served Brussels sprouts fairly often in our Southern California home. I thought they resembled baby cabbages, so cutely packaged and all. She’d smother them with butter and lemon, just the way I loved them. This recipe the lowly sprout is paired with cauliflower, another often maligned vegetable for all it’s gas-producing properties and pungent smells. But together they combine for a nutrient-packed duo that’s hard to beat.
Roasting brings out more flavor, more sweetness, more appeal if you ask me. But to make them even more fabulous and fitting for a holiday table, I top with toasted pecans, crumbled bacon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Pure delight.
My holiday table isn’t quite complete without this traditional, made modern side dish. I hope you’re a fan already but if not, give these a try. I bet I win you over too!
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower with Toasted Pecans and Bacon
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 6 slices center-cut bacon
- 1 pound cauliflower flowerettes
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut in half (outer leaves removed)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp balsamic glaze
- Add chopped pecans to a small skillet and place over medium-high heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, tossing occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat and set aside. Cook bacon in the same small skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet and let drain on paper towel. Crumble and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cauliflower and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper, directly on a 15 x 10-inch baking sheet. Roast, stirring midway through to promote even browning, until vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add maple syrup and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning then transfer to serving dish. Right before serving, drizzle balsamic glaze and top with chopped pecans and bacon.
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