Brussels sprouts. I think everyone can agree this is a love/hate relationship vegetable. When I was young (and wonderfully foolish), I used to think they were mini-cabbages or heads of lettuce. Not that I wanted to eat them, mind you, but I found it amusing that these things seemed fit for a gnome's table.
Anyway, enough foolishness. I was in search of a vegetable side dish for dinner a few days back and I thought of the lowly sprout, so ignored by me in cooking. Well, those days are at an end. This was (believe it or not) one of the first times I had actually cooked the things raw (rather than frozen and re-heated in a microwave). And what better way to mask a vegetable than by putting bacon with it? Always guaranteed to please. The nuts were also an inspiration, giving just enough of a crunch and texture to the dish that made it all the better. The only time-intensive part of the dish was the endless shredding of sprouts. Unless you're handy with a mandolin (and even I won't dare to use one on these little mini-cabbages), you're setting yourself up for a lot of knife work. But worth it for the sprouts!!
2 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4-inch-thick slices bacon (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup low-salt chicken broth
Coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté until golden, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add brussels sprouts and broth; sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with pecans.