21 March 2012

Warm Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Bacon


I couldn't resist picking up some of these Brussels sprouts at the grocers, maybe I felt a little sorry for them since they get such a bad rap.  I guess for many of us it childhood memories of them boiled to death, water logged, bitter and odorous. They produce hydrogen sulphide when heated, and it only increases the longer they are cooked, not good.  However if not over cooked they can be quite delicious, a little nutty, a little sweet and full of green goodness.  Just to note my Mum never did over cook her Brussels sprouts. When they would make their annual appearance at the Christmas table they were gently cooked and tossed with walnuts and bacon.  Thinking back that is likely where the inspiration for this dish came from. 


And I do reckon that done this way I could convert some of the Brussels sprouts haters in to lovers, heck if you didn't tell them that they were Brussels sprouts they may not even guess that they were eating the much maligned little vegetable. Lightly sautéed with onions and garlic, tossed with toasted hazelnuts and crispy bacon Brussels sprouts are as far removed from those childhood horrors as you could possibly imagine, they are something else entirely.  So even if you are a skeptic go on and give Brussels sprouts another go as I am quietly confident that you will be pleasantly surprised.






Warm Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts and Bacon


Ingredients


1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted (walnuts or chestnuts would also be good companions)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
12 Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
Salt and pepper


Directions


Toast the hazelnuts for just a few moments and set aside.  In a large frying pan heat the olive oil over a medium heat.  Add the red onion and garlic, season with a little salt and sauté for a few minutes until translucent.




Add the Brussels sprouts to the onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until the Brussels sprouts are just cooked through but retain a little crunch.  Meanwhile in a separate pan fry the bacon until it is crisp.  Add the hazelnuts and bacon to the Brussels sprouts and serve immediately.






The light sautéing leaves the sprouts bright and green with a little crunch, no sign of bitter or mushy here. The toasted hazelnuts add an additional nutty note and a little crispy bacon adds the salty and the crispy. All lightly enveloped in olive oil this is a bright, tasty side full of texture and layers of flavour.





If you like this you might like this Greens & Roast Pumpkin Salad with Kikorangi & Candied Chilli Pecans
One year ago London Eats Ottolenghi


Enjoy!









9 comments:

  1. You know, so many foodies have said that Brussels sprouts are delicious when cooked properly. I just haven't had the guts to give it a go yet. Perhaps this year's the one!

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    Replies
    1. You should....these are definitely my favourite to date :)

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  2. YUM!!!
    Sprouts with bacon ROCK!!!
    Delicious with a bit of wholegrain mustard too. Totally agree though - dont over cook...
    Vanessa

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Vanessa....of yes so good with mustard too....I think I may have to come up with a few more concoctions to convert the haters in to lovers!

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  3. It's such a shame we grew up on mushy, boiled Brussels sprouts when they are so delicious when prepared properly. I'm happy to see these little darlings getting some love now! Your photos are beautiful, I especially like the last one by the window.

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    1. Thanks Hannah :) I know they are much maligned! They get a much worse rap than even over boiled cabbage! Determined to convert a few more people this season as they can be quite delicious :)

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  4. Mmmm mmm,

    I tried something similar at Tikouka in Wellington - http://www.tikouka-cafe.co.nz/ - so delicious. I don't know how I got through winter without this scrummy staple.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks,,,sounds like a great cafe, I will have to check it out the next time I am in Wellington.

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  5. I love brussels and would happily eat a big plate of this :0)

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