It isn’t easy to make the best thing ever even better. Internet trolls and software developers would argue that this is false. “Just add bacon!” they would say. While I have been historically known to argue this point, those swine enthusiasts are in this case, right.
For me, Brussels sprouts are the ultimate best food ever. My former roommates will tell you that I once ate Brussels sprouts for dinner every night for two weeks straight. Most college apartments smell like weed and socks. Ours smelled like olive oil coated, and then roasted, sprouts (but also weed and socks).
Once, my adorably, if not ironically, concerned roommates researched the potential negative side effects of consuming too much of the cruciferous vegetable. Only one case of sprout overdose has been recorded, featuring a Scottish gentleman who was hospitalized when his Christmas Eve side dish didn’t agree with the anticoagulants he was taking. These magical veggies are super high in Vitamin K, but until I’ve got a blood clotting issue, I’m going to keep the dream alive.
So why has it taken me so long to spread the good word of Brussels sprouts? Well, if you’re one of the more unoriginal souls on Tinder who has introduced themselves with a Brussels sprouts anecdote in response to my short but sweet “I like Brussels sprouts,” bio, my work here is done. For the rest of you, let’s get this party started! No – not that kind of party. Don’t be gross!
For your entertainment, here are some wise words from the Tinder community. Pick up lines aren’t what they used to be, people!
Carlo says, “Yo I fuck with Brussels sprouts.” That’s not a very nice thing to do to!
Alex inquires, “Roasted or steamed, though?” Please, Alex, do you even read The Pantry Raid?
Barrett chimes in, “I like celery & peanut butter.” No one invited you, Barrett. Go home.
And to finish things off, Casey leaves us with a statement of truth: “Brussels sprouts tho.” Yeah, Casey gets it.
Let’s get back to Alex for a second though. Poor, naïve Alex. Did he really think I would steam Brussels sprouts? In his defense, we are total strangers and he doesn’t know that I would never EVER do such a thing.
See, the reason I’ve never posted my recipe for B-Sprouts (nor publicly admitted to being on Tinder) is because it’s not very interesting. The most redeeming quality possessed by the veggie of the hour is its unique, stand out flavor. My theory is, why mess with a good thing? In case you’re dying to know my OG recipe, here you go:
Salt & pepper
Mix it up, put it in a cast iron skillet, and roast those babies at 400º until they’re nice and crunchy.
Not particularly interesting, is it? It’s a make-it-every-night-because-you-can kind of recipe, not a blow-your-readers’ minds kinda thing.
Well I’ll tell you, my mind was blown when I discovered this here rendition of my dearly beloved food. It comes as no surprise that it was introduced to me by Paleo-eating, Cross Fitting, folk. This is only a make-it-every-night-because-you-can recipe if you’re lifting oversized tires (or whatever they do at Cross Fit) and have sworn off of bread and sugar (two of the best things on the planet). For the rest of us, it’s a jazz-up-the-usual or get-the-kids-to-eat-the-green-stuff alternative to the above recipe.
So, here you have it: Bacon’d Brussels Sprouts. They’re sweet, salty, hearty, and way, way addicting. The bacon totally enhances the sprouts’ stand out flavor and the balsamic makes this stuff good enough for dessert. Which reminds me, this is no quickly thrown together side (or main, if you’re me). We ended up digging into ours as a second course due to poor time management…so allot at least an hour to whip these bad boys up.
4 cups Brussels sprouts
Olive oil to coat sprouts
5 pieces center cut bacon
Salt & pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange bacon on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
While bacon is in the oven, cut the stems off the sprouts and halve them.
Remove bacon from the oven and pour bacon grease into a mixing bowl with sprouts. Toss to coat, adding enough olive oil so that the sprouts are shiny. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread sprouts out on the bacon cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, rearranging occasionally.
If bacon isn’t totally crunchy yet, finish it off in a skillet over high heat. Let cool and then chop into fine pieces.
Sprouts are done when they’ve got a slight char and are tender on the inside. In a serving bowl, toss sprouts with half of the bacon bits and the balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.