Last month in October, my husband and I attended the Maroon 5 concert (amazing show!). We went for dinner and drinks before the show. After perusing the menu, our eyes instantly went to an appetizer ‘Roasted Brussels Sprouts’. Every bite was divine, and we savored every flavor. My husband exclaimed, “you need to make this at home!” as we did all but lick the plate clean. (Don’t judge!)
I realized how simple the ingredient list was: Brussles, bacon, balsamic and goat cheese.
We planted some Brussles in the back yard late spring, but they are just too little to satisfy our portion size at the moment so off I went to the market. There I found beautiful stocks of these sweet little cabbage looking veggies! Next, on to the bacon, because everything is better with bacon. I prefer uncured bacon.
Here’s why: uncured bacon is cured with just salt. NO nitrites. Nitrites are an additive used to preserve the color, flavor and shelf life. It is found naturally in many foods like vegetables, but loaded into processed meats. However, when nitrites are exposed to high heat (like we like our meats!), they turn into a compound that is a potent carcinogen (Read more about nitrites here). Lucky, you can search for better options like uncured and nitrite-free bacon. Just read those labels! If in doubt, cook it slow and low!
Back to the food…and the bacon.
Preheat oven to 350°. Cut bacon into bite size chunks and place on baking sheet. When oven is ready, cook bacon 10 – 15 minutes until it’s done to your likeness. I prefer it medium for this dish. Not to limp and not too crisp. Check after 8 minutes or so as bacon can quickly go from just right to singed in no time. When bacon is done, crank oven up to 400° for roasting the Brussels Sprouts.
While oven is heating, wash those sprouts and remove any outer leaves that just don’t muster up. Next, cut them in half. Place into a bowl and drizzle with Olive Oil. Salt and pepper and mix until well combined.
Now time to roast the sprouts! Lay them on a baking sheet (you know what? I like putting them on the sheet after the bacon. Why not use all that bacon goodness to roast your veggies in? Plus, just one pan to clean up. Winning!) Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking often. Even if they look like they are crispy on the outside and done, take a bite to make sure they are not too firm.
While the sprouts are roasting, let’s make our balsamic glaze! This is so simple. I know specialty stores sell Balsamic Glaze and I honestly haven’t looked at a label, but this is so simple, you’ve got this on your own! Heat up 1/2 -3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar in a pan to boiling. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer until it reduces by half, about 15-20 minutes. Allow too cool. Yep, that’s it! OK, technically this isn’t all “glazy”, but it’s straight up real food and real delicious! If you have the need to make it sticky sweet, you can add 1-2 TBSP sugar. I won’t tell.
The bacon is done, the sprouts are done and your balsamic reduction is done. Toss together in a bowl.
Now all that is missing is the cheese. My go-to cheese for this dish is goat cheese. I love the creamy buttery flavor of Chèvre . It’s soft and will become warm
Combine bacon, Brussels Sprouts and sauce to a bowl. Mix until combine. Place in serving bowl and add cheese.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Balsamic Glaze and Chèvre
A savory appetizer.
1 pound Brussels Sprouts (1/2 stalk), trimmed and halved
4-6 slices thick cut uncured bacon
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 TBSP goat cheese
- Heat oven to 350°. Chop bacon into large bite sizes. Place on baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Bake until medium, about 10-15 minutes.
- While bacon is cooking, wash and clean Brussels Sprouts. Trim and halve. Place in mixing bowl and olive oil and salt and pepper to coat.
- Once bacon is done adjust oven temperature to 400°, remove bacon and place on paper town to drain.
- Add sprouts to baking pan. Roast until golden brown and lightly crispy, about 20-25 minutes.
- While sprouts are roasting, make the balsamic glaze.
- In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to pan. Bring to boil, then simmer 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens.
- If desired, add 1-2 TBSP sugar for a sweeter, thicker glaze.
Combine bacon, Brussels Sprouts and sauce to a bowl. Mix until combine. For low carb, use a substitute like Swerve.
- Place in serving bowl and add cheese.