No, no, hear me out. Before you scroll past, internet, just let me tell you how many Brussels sprouts haters I have converted with this recipe. You ready? It’s six. Which is exactly the number of sprouts haters I’ve served this thing to. It’s a small sample group, for sure, but a great success rate. Mymomloves this recipe, internet, and she’s the reason I didn’t try Brussels sprouts until I was well into my twenties.
This is not because the recipe is special somehow. It’s because the thing with sprouts is that people have a tendency to cook them for too long, and this recipe doesn’t do that. I don’t know the exact science behind it, nor can I be bothered to look it up at the moment, but a chemical reaction causes that horrible taste, and if you have memories of Brussels sprouts being basically the worst things ever, it is likely the overcooking that caused that and nothing to do with the vegetable itself. A friend’s mother served some overcooked Brussels sprouts to me a few years ago and I remember thinking, wow, no wonder people hate these things. If you don’t heat them for more than six or seven minutes, they’re a totally different vegetable.
I just so happened to get Brussels sprouts from my CSA last week, and I just so happened to have most of the other ingredients handy, so here’s the recipe, about four months before I thought it would be on offer.
This picture would have had red bell peppers in it had I been fully sober when buying groceries earlier.
Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 6-8 medium-sized sprouts, trimmed and outer leaves removed
- 1 carrot, peeled
- ½ bell pepper
- ½ yellow onion
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp ground thyme
- ½ tsp ground oregano
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-4 strips bacon (or other tasty animal fat, though the vegetables stand on their own)
Slice sprouts down the middle and chop horizontally into strips. Set aside in a bowl.
Peel and slice carrots; dice bell pepper, onions and garlic. Add to Brussels sprouts.
Dice bacon and cook until crisp. You want a nice layer of fat in the pan. If you are a vegetarian, coconut fat works well; olive oil has a low smoke point, making it unsuitable for cooking, and I don’t recommend other vegetable oils due to their omega-6 fatty acid content.
Add Brussels sprouts mix to pan, and immediately add thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes.
You’ll know the sprouts are done when they turn bright green. This takes 2-3 minutes, at most. Remove from heat and serve immediately.