Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brussels Sprouts with Warm Bacon Dressing and the Holiday Side Dish Dilemma

As I enjoyed this very tasty Brussels sprouts with warm bacon dressing recipe, I was reminded Thanksgiving side dish decision time is rapidly approaching. It’s that annual dilemma where we’re forced to choose five or six recipes among hundreds of potentially awesome options.

What makes this decision so tough is that you want things that are traditional and comforting, but at the same time, want to keep the menu fresh and interesting. You love those buttery mashed potatoes, and yet you’ve wanted to make twice-baked potatoes for years. You always make Grandma’s chestnut stuffing, but that spicy cornbread version you saw on Pinterest sure looks amazing. What do you do?

Do what I do; keep the starchy cornerstones classic, and switch up the vegetable sides instead. Go ahead and do your favorite and familiar potato, stuffing, and gravy recipe; but when it comes to tired old dishes like green bean casserole, or peas and carrots, let your freak flag fly.

As long as you have a few comfort food favorites around, people will forgive a little experimentation, and this creative, un-cooked Brussels sprouts recipe would fit the bill. I love the contrast between the raw, crunchy vegetable and the rich, smoky, sweet and sour dressing. This would do any turkey proud.

While I decided to go raw this time, you can certainly turn this into a hot side by giving it a quick, stir-fry in a large skillet. Just a minute or two, until it starts to wilt, and you’re good to go. Anyway, I’m not sure if I made your side dish selection simpler or more complicated by showing you this new and exciting offering, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You always do. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
1 1/4 pound Brussels sprouts (will make about 1 lb. trimmed and sliced)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz bacon, sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

View the complete recipe


Anonymous said...

Any recommendations (from readers, as well) on what type of chicken to make with this?

Oh, and Chef: GO GIANTS!

Chef John said...

Yes, GO GIANTS!!!!!

I can't think of a chicken recipe this wouldn't work with!

Anonymous said...

looks appetizing. im not a salad person but definitely a bacon guy...XD

cookinmom said...

Ok...being that it is a warm dressing and being that it is crazy on Thanksgiving with everything else going on, what are the chances of placing the dressing in a bowl and prepping the sprouts ahead placing in fridge and all I would need to do is nuk the dressing for 30 sec, at the last minute, and pour it over the salad??? What do you think?

susan H. (PA dutch) said...

Hello Chef John, I really love your recipes and I will enjoy this I am sure because I grew up picking dandelion greens and we always used a dressing like this. Good old PA dutch. Any how, no quibble here, but I was curious, you use cayenne in many recipes. Is this because you really like it, is it just a little secret that ups the ante in many recipes. Thanks and keep up the great delivery. I love the playfulness

Chibby said...

Great idea,they do brussels sprouts up here every year for thanksgiving(which was a few weeks ago)Now I have a way to make it more interesting

Chef John said...

Yes, you can muke and add the dressing later!

Sorry, I can't recommend a specific pan, so check the online review sites! Depends on budget!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the vegi recipe, keep them coming! As Alton Brown puts it, most people have a negative association with vegetables because growing up, they ate them overcooked and poorly prepared.

Also Chef, I found your app on my Roku and I'm so glad I did, this is the best cooking blog I've come across. Thank you!


susan clancy said...

This sounds like a perfect supper dish with a fried egg and some crusty bread to mop it all up. And a nice glass of wine of course. Thanks for the recipe, I think I had something similar to it once and I'm reminded how good it was.

Chef John said...

That sounds just about perfect. :)

Anonymous said...

Alexander here..

Chef John, what can replace cider vinegar? Will white wine vinegar work well here ? What can we do with those pieces of the sprouts which are left after cooking the dish ? Just discard them ?

philogaia said...

I may have found my offering for the community Thanksgiving dinner I go to every year. There are always too many potatoes and not enough interesting vegetables. And thanks to cookinmon I know I can mess with the timing on the final service. What's not to love about bacon and cruciferous veg!

Matthew said...

What is that old phrase from the kitchen?

"If in doubt, add more bacon"?

Anonymous said...

it was working beautifully until you dumped all that saturated lard in the salad bowl, Chef. How about throwing it away and dressing the sprouts with e.g. some raw olive oil? Would it be that detrimental to the taste? Thank you, and a thumbs up for the site.

Teresa said...

Made this today and it was delicious! I was worried I wouldn't like raw Brussels sprouts but these turned out to be just warm enough to make me think it was cooked but had that oh-so-satisfying crunch.

Lou said...

How about a lot less sugar, some harissa in the dressing and a poached egg or two on top?

Menimitz said...

We made this for dinner a few days after this was posted. From what I remember it was delicious. I do know I liked it enough to try it again, and may be doing so again soon.

Randy Sieb said...

We made this with Chicken cordon bleu and it was unanimous that we all preferred the brussels sprouts over the chicken. That was a first!!!

Unknown said...

This looks like the brussel sprouts need to be fresh. Frozen and thawed sprouts probably would never slice up so well, and they'd be damp and soggy. Might want to say that for those who are cooking illiterate and go to the store and buy frozen.

Everything Erin said...

I made this dish for a pitch-in this weekend (I am from Indiana, what you call a potluck, we call a pitch-in...get over it). I prepped ingredients at home and made the dressing when I arrived. I actually made a double batch because sprouts were on sale and I had some in the fridge. Anyway, there were eight of us at the pitch-in and the bowl of this got clean out.
It was simple and delicious.

I love you, Chef John. Thanks to you, my family and friends think I am a culinary genius.

Jeremy Hale said...


I've tried making this dish twice now and I can't tell if I'm doing something wrong in the preparations, or if I simply don't like brussel sprouts. They taste good initially, but after a few seconds of chewing the taste goes from pleasant to a bitter tone with a very bad aftertaste. After a few bites into the dish I can't stomach it anymore. Do I just hate this poor vegetable?

Chef John said...

Yes ;) Maybe not for you.

Jerry Drzewiecki said...

Chef John,
This recipe looks might tasty, but what is the difference between using brussels sprouts and green cabbage? I have never tasted the two side-by-side
and am curious about their particular flavor profiles. It seems that finely shredding a head of green cabbage would be much less tedious than shredding individual sprouts.