Posted by Jane Harrell on 4th Oct 2021
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans and Cranberries
12 oz Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
1 cup pecans
½ cup dried cranberries
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and toss to combine.
Place Brussels sprouts on the baking sheet, cut side down.
Roast in the oven at 400 F for about 25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be partially charred but not blackened.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
Line the separate baking sheet with foil. Add the bacon slices in one layer. Bake in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is done. You can do it at the same time as roasting the Brussels sprouts.
Drain bacon of fat and slice the bacon into small bites.
How to Toast Pecans
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add pecans in one layer.
Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes (maybe a bit longer) in the preheated oven at 350 F until they get darker in color.
Prepare Dried Cranberries
For best results, briefly soak the dried cranberries in hot water. Bring a small pot of water to boil.
Add dried cranberries to a medium bowl. Pour hot water over the cranberries and soak them for about 10 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, warm chopped cooked bacon, toasted pecans, and soaked dried cranberries. Toss everything together. The olive oil from Brussels sprouts and fats from bacon should be enough to coat the ingredients. If desired, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to mix with the salad (optional)
If you would like to ADD SAUCE TO CREATE MORE FLAVOR, here are some easy options:
Drizzle with a balsamic glaze. Make the balsamic glaze by cooking down the balsamic vinegar together with a small amount of honey or brown sugar until the mixture reduces by about half. For example, combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + ¼ cup of honey or brown sugar and cook it down. Consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.
Drizzle with a very high quality aged balsamic vinegar made in Italy. Aged balsamic vinegar is often sold in specialized stores or sections of foreign foods at some grocery stores. High-quality Italian-made aged balsamic vinegar is usually expensive but it does not need cooking down. Just use it as is. And, you don't need to use much.
Or, use your favorite balsamic vinaigrette based salad dressing.