My favorite Brussels Sprouts...

My favorite Brussels Sprouts...
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon, my favorite.
For years I wanted to love Brussels Sprouts, but never got past finding them simply okay. Turns out, simple is best when it comes to these little cabbages. After trying blanching, braising, frying, shaving and shredding, the trick to making them addictively delicious is simply high heat. Oh, and don't forget the bacon.

Larger sprouts have considerably more "cabbage" flavor, so when you go shopping, look for smaller sprouts. This particularly disappoints me because I love seeing the big beautiful sprouts still attached to the stems, but trust me when I tell you that smaller sprouts are sweeter sprouts.

Preparation is beyond simple. I like to start with a slice or two of bacon placed on a sheet pan in a cold oven. Then turn the oven to 400 F. While the oven is preheating, you'll cook the bacon and render the fat onto your sheet pan.

 While that is going, you'll want to trim your sprouts. I like to remove and unattractive outer leaves, slice a little off the end and cut the brussels sprouts in half so you get a nice flat surface to get all brown and delicious in the oven.

Prepped and ready
Drizzle just a little vegetable oil (remember there is bacon fat in the pan) and season with salt and pepper.

Once the oven is preheated and the bacon has crisped, pull out the bacon slices and crumble into your serving bowl then toss the brussels sprouts onto the screaming hot sheet pan, distributing them in a nice even layer.

Roast them for 20 minutes, then flip/toss in the pan and continue cooking until they are cooked through and very brown on the outside, about 20 more minutes (40-45 minutes total.) Those gorgeous browned bits are the very best parts.

From here, toss in the serving bowl with the crumbled bacon. I like a squirt of lemon juice, although a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese are both delicious alternatives. One small onion, very thinly sliced and roasted along with the brussels sprouts is another delicious addition.

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