I’m sure you share the same sentiment about brussels sprouts as I did as a child, and most likely with a huge amount of the public who still dislike those mini cabbages.
It really wasn’t until last year that I fully changed my stance on whether or not brussels sprouts were actually good. The first time I had ever had them, they were boiled. At the time, it was too much flavor to handle. Bitter cabbage times 10. I think. This was more years ago that I can remember about something I didn’t quite fancy. Fast forward to me in my early 20s, and I hadn’t eaten them since then. Then, there was a salad at an Italian restaurant that changed my life. In a seasonal salad at Pizza Antica in the South Bay (Google “Santana Row”), in more than a decade, I ingested brussels sprouts for the first time. These little guys weren’t boiled or steamed; they were roasted! And with salty prosciutto! Combined in a warm delicious vinaigrette. YUM! There’s something about a bit of caramelization that really brings out the sweet that balances out the bitter. Since then, I have purchased brussels sprouts many times, and each time, I’ve tossed ‘em with olive oil and sea salt and popped them in the oven to roast. This time around, I tweaked it a little bit by sautéing over high heat to achieve caramelization. If you’re feeling like having a light dinner, or not, try this out! If you don’t like them, this will turn you into a brussels sprouts believer.
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1-2 pounds of brussels sprouts, sliced in half, fourths, or quartered, whichever you want
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 pound of bacon
- some eggs (however many you feel like frying and eating)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- apple cider vinegar
Rinse your brussels sprouts and slice them up any which way you would like. The idea is to get them into smaller pieces to facilitate cooking quickly. Set them aside. Chop your onions and garlic, too, for later.
Chop your bacon, and then fry it until crispy. Remove from the pan and let the pieces drain on paper towels. While the grease is still hot empty out enough so that you’re left with about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add in your onions. Fry these until they’re just cooked, and possibly a little brown around the edges. Set the onions aside.
Add in olive oil to the pan and let it warm over medium-high until shimmering. Add in your brussels sprouts and toss to coat with the oil. Fry these until just cooked (soft, but not mushy with a little bit of bite left). Add in your chopped garlic. Stir and cook until fragrant. At this point there should be some color on your brussels sprouts. Add in the onions and bacon and stir to incorporate. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and pour in a few splashes of the vinegar and stir. Set aside. (A bulk of the dish is done!)
Next, fry your eggs. I recommend over-easy or over-medium, basically some form where the yolk is still runny and can add to the “dressing.”
Plate and eat. (Perhaps serve with some grissini?)