Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

The Minneapolis Farmers Market opened this past weekend, and we’d been looking forward to it for a very long time.

This was definitely the winter that wouldn’t end, stubbornly “gifting” us with another 3″ of snow just a week ago, before jumping up to highs in the mid 70s days later. WTF, mother nature?

Anyway, it was great to wander the aisles that we hadn’t seen since last summer, and get some fresh air. While there wasn’t much in the way of fresh produce yet, we did end up buying – among other things – a tray of fresh Brussels sprouts. I was happy – it’s been a while.

Growing up, I LOVED Brussels sprouts. Fresh or frozen, usually mushy and included in stew.. whatever. Loved em! As I grew a bit older, it kinda shocked me to learn that Brussels sprouts had kind of a bad reputation, and was a commonly DISliked food.

As it turns out, my husband is in a weird middleground. He doesn’t love them, doesn’t hate them… but is OK with them in small doses. He says they are “too much… something”.

Yeah, I don’t know.

So, I decided to try to make a Brussels Sprouts Believer out of him. Forget the stew, I’d do my second favourite presentation – roasted. I knew it would be hard to turn up his nose at bacon roasted Brussels sprouts, even if left plain… but these are also tossed in a tweaked version of my go-to favourite vinaigrette.

SO good… he loved em! I hope you will, too!

Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

1 lb thick cut bacon, chopped
1 1/2- 2 lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cook bacon to desired doneness – I like to stop just short of crispy, for this recipe.

As bacon is cooking, remove any yellowed or otherwise ugly outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the very end (brown) of each stem end, before cutting each sprout in half. Place on a baking sheet.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon from pan, setting aside. Measure 1/4 cup of bacon drippings into a bowl or measuring glass, set aside for now.

Pour remaining bacon drippings over the Brussels sprouts, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle sprouts with brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, gentle toss to coat. Roast for about 25 minutes, stirring the sprouts every 8-10 minutes or so.

Whisk cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt into the the (slightly cooled!) reserved 1/4 cup of bacon drippings until mixture becomes thick, well combined, and smooth.

Once sprouts are as roasted as you would like them, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with vinaigrette and bacon, season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot!

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