My affection for brussels sprouts is rich and deep. While simple roasted sprouts are probably my preferred preparation I’m always game to try a new take on the wee little cabbages. This recipe is inspired by a dish served at my company’s holiday dinner. After helping myself casually to two (and by that I mean more than one, definitely two and possibly
three four – but who was counting) I was taken by the way the flavors melt into each other but not before each ingredient’s signature flavor – bacon:umami, sprouts:bitter and dates:sweet – all make themselves known. It was satiating in every sense of the word. When I first attempted to recreate the dish I figured there must be a secret ingredient (a spice, vinegar, oil or something) that brought the flavors together. But before I could sort that out I had to start somewhere so I began with what I knew. Bacon, brussels sprouts and dates. The bacon and brussels sprouts went into the oven to roast, the dates joined them later and in less than an hour I had a dish of golden sprouts, crispy bacon and tender dates in front of me. I tucked in to them and lo and behold I was met with the exact same delicious taste I was hoping to replicate. Yes, it was really that simple. Which, of course makes the recipe that much more incredible. Honestly, I’d be surprised if you’ve even read this far but if you have stop, gather some bacon, brussels sprouts and dates and let me know how it goes.
Bacon, Brussels Sprouts and Dates
5 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved and washed
6 Slices bacon, chopped into 1.5-2″ pieces
3/4 C Dates quartered
Preheat Oven 425˚
- Spread the sprouts and bacon on two sheet pans.
- Roast in the oven for 35 minutes – stirring one or two times – the bacon fat should start to coat the sprouts.
- Then add the dates and roast for another 10-15 minutes until everything is crispy and golden.