Enamored with brussels sprouts since I first laid eyes on their majestic stalks growing in a local kitchen garden, I began experimenting early in my marriage with recipes.
I could never endear them to my husband.
Until… I began adding bacon. And maple syrup. It’s funny how the smokey flavors can suddenly make brussels sprouts something he now loves.
Encouraged, I began bringing this dish to block parties and potlucks… and as a result, also have made other non-brussels sprout people into fans.
Brussels sprouts were named after the capital of Belgium where they were first grown. They were introduced to America by French settlers in Louisiana and nutritionally are a high in potassium and a good source of vitamins A and C.
Here is a family favorite standout dish to accompany most any entree; from salmon to chicken, beef or pork.
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 strips center cut bacon
2 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons butter, cubed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
After rinsing the brussels sprouts, trim ends and cut in half, placing in a bowl and set aside.
Julienne bacon strips into 3/4-inch strips. Place bacon in medium saute pan and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain.
Pour olive oil over the brussels sprouts in the bowl and toss. Turn out into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme leaves and salt and freshly ground pepper; toss once more.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown. Drizzle maple syrup over the brussels sprouts and stir, returning it to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes to brown and become nicely tender.