Every time I see huge Brussels sprouts they make their way into the grocery cart, regardless of what was on that list. Costco has ginormous ones right now! Earthiness from the sprouts. Bacony bacon. Tang from the feta. Tartness from the craisins. A pop of sweet nuttiness from the candied pecans. And an acid pop from the balsamic glaze. Perfection. It’s so darn delicious, easy, and it happens to be fabulously nutritious, so I make it all the time. It makes a great stand-alone breakfast because of the bacon. It’s a fabulous dinner. And it’s a killer bbq sidekick. I hope you love it, too!
Jen’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Feta, Craisins, Candied Pecans, and a Balsamic Drizzle
12 ounces bacon
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Line the bacon on in a single layer. Put it into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F, and set the timer to 25 minutes for fairly crisp, adjusting as needed for your optimal bacon doneness. When it’s done, move the bacon to paper towel to get rid of any excess bacon fat. <If you barbecue or grill with wood or coal, that bacon grease parchment and paper towel is killer for getting it started! And you saved it from the landfill, you Earth-saving cook, you!> Coarsely chop.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil – You can sub in any or all of the oil with rendered bacon fat if you’re so inclined. Because yum! And you already paid for it. And no waste.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Toss and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 35 minutes, turning once. A little browning and crisping here and there is really lovely for taste and texture. Toss in a bowl with the crisp bacon.
1/2 cup craisins or dried blueberries
3/4 cup feta cheese – queso fresco, cojita, and farmer’s cheese all work, too.
3/4 cup candied pecans – I love the ones from Trader Joe’s
about 2 Tablespoons balsamic drizzle – I buy it, but you can reduce it yourself. Just keep an eye on it because it goes from perfectly drizzly to gross in no time…
Sprinkle, lightly toss, drizzle, and serve.
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My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.
My favorite cast iron skillet is a 12″ Lodge dual handle pan. Why, the long handles are too heavy to hold with a single hand when they’re loaded up. Since you’re using two hands anyway, you might as well get the ones that take up less space and stack so much better!
I get asked about my spice wall all the time. The magnetic tins on the wall are great for any spices or salt-free blends. Salt corrodes the tins, so anything with salt is in a glass jar on the counter underneath.