Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Pine Nuts

Hello people! I live in Malaysia where Brussels sprouts are virtually non-existent except for it’s occasional appearance in supermarkets at an exorbitant price. 🙁 Ok, I know they are winter produce… and seeing that Malaysia lacks that particular season, it’s hard to come by winter produce, at least not cheaply.

From what I have read online, it seems that kids tend not to like Brussels sprouts because the sprouts were traditionally boiled to death. To be honest, any veggies boiled to smithereens is not that appetising. Unless they are meant to be cooked that way. But I don’t see Brussels sprouts falling under that category.

We never heard of or ate Brussels sprouts when we were kids. Hence, we never had the chance to hate it. Instead, I discovered this wonder brassica about 3 years ago when I chanced upon them on the supermarket shelf. There was a scant 3 packets there, 2 looking really dry and crummy but the final pack at the back was green, fresh and calling out my name. I had no idea what it was and how it tasted like but I knew I wanted it. And boy was I glad I got them.

I love that when prepared right, they have a grassy, bitter but sweet flavour which matches it’s crunchy texture. This paired with something sour and salty is a match made in palate paradise.

For dinner recently, I made it precisely that way and the hubs and I finished an entire bowl of these little guys.

I made them using:

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, Pine Nuts (not pictured), Butter, Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Pepper, Olive OilBrussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 1

As all good things start, I fried my bacon rashers in some melted butter. Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound good!Brussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 2

Once they are crispy, I took them out and in the drippings, I added a little bit of salt and then arranged the sprouts in, cut side down. I poured in a couple tablespoons of water and set on the lid to let them steam a little. When the water dries out, then those sides start searing to a beautiful golden brown.Brussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 3

Once the sprouts are nicely seared and tender, I took them out, added a small pat of butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then I tossed in the sprouts in again to coat them with that yummy glaze. A handful of toasted pine nuts and the reserved bacon crumble completed this picture.Brussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 4

I loved it so so much. Can’t wait to get my hands on another pack. Yes, they are a little pricier than the average veggies but they really fill you up. You can have this as the main course even.  Look at the bacon pieces.Brussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 5

I’m hungry looking at these.Brussels Sprouts W Pine Nuts 6

When we went to Adelaide earlier this year, we visited the Adelaide Central Market and I saw sacks and sacks of Brussels sprouts available. And they weren’t expensive, even after currency conversion. All I know is if I had that kind of access to these babies, I’d be having them at least (I said at least) 3 times a week. I’m not even joking.

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“When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto Thee, into Thine holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7)

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Pine Nuts
serves 2 very well

Ingredients:

20 Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed & halved
4 rashers Bacon
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp Butter, separated
1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Salt (I use Pink Himalayan)
dash of pepper
2-3 tbsp Pine Nuts, toasted

  1. Heat up pan and melt 1 tbsp butter together with olive oil.
  2. Fry bacon until well browned and crispy. Drain and set aside.
  3. In hot oil, stir in salt and arrange sprouts halves with tongs, cut side down.
  4. Pour in 3-4 tbsp water and cover with lid to let them steam and cook.
  5. Once water evaporates, open lid and let sprouts brown well until tender to your liking.
  6. Remove sprouts from pan.
  7. Add in remaining 1 tbsp butter, let melt then add balsamic vinegar. Allow it to sizzle and thicken slightly. Add a dash of pepper.
  8. Toss in sprouts until coated with buttery vinegary mixture.
  9. Dish out sprouts and top with crumbled bacon and toasted pine nuts.
  10. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Adding bacon to brussels sprouts is a sure fire win, every time. These look perfect for Christmas.

  2. OMG! I am drooling over brussel sprouts. I have had them with bacon before which is amazing but adding pine nuts too? Sign me up! YUM! Will have to try these soon!!

    • Can I tell you a secret? The pine nuts were a last minute addition, right before we were about to dig in. I had to stop my hubs from taking his first bite just so I could take a minute to toast the nuts, scatter over AND grab some pictures. Totally worth that minute of delay.

  3. Hi, Jayne!! I love Brussels sprouts! But my kids will NOT eat them… and I’ve never boiled them not even once. But!! If I saute them and hide them in other foods they are fooled every time. I am a firm believer that bacon makes everything better. I mean EVERYTHING.

    • Hi Heather. *waves enthusiastically* Haha.. I want to be your kid. I would love Brussels sprouts so much. I think your kids like them but don’t know it yet. Right? And yes, more bacon for everyone! 😀

  4. These sound delightful, Jayne! And I’m one of those kids who was totally disgusted by brussels sprouts… but not because I had eaten them. One of my friend’s dads called them ‘Monkey Brains,’ and I swore to myself that I’d never eat them because of that.

    Flash forward about 20 years, and I’m sitting in a nice restaurant, listening to the specials. The salmon sounds killer… but it’s paired with braised brussels sprouts. I decided then and there that I would be brave and face this RANDOM childhood fear, and I’m glad I did. I ate more of the sprouts than I did of the salmon, and I’ve been tinkering with them in the kitchen ever since!

    I’m glad you got the chance to get your hands on some. And next time I see some good brussels sprouts, I’m making your recipe!

    • Hey, Erin. Thanks so much for sharing your Brussels sprouts story! It’s amazing what presumption can do. 😀 You’re brave! So glad you found a love for them, though like me, in your adulthood. Better late than never. I always believe that when it comes to most food, try it at least once; if I don’t like it, then I don’t have to eat it again but I should try once. I’m going to eat my share of sprouts to make up for the years of lack. Let’s do it!

  5. Hi Jayne! I LOOVE Brussel sprout, and I love cooking it with bacon too (mine with thyme). Pine nuts are nice addition to this dish and I will definitely give it a try as I need lots of Brussel recipes (we eat often… hehee).

  6. Sorry you can’t get them more often or at a resonable price. But you certainly know how to make them yummy. Great recipe! I could eat a bowl for dinner.

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