There was a time when I despised Brussels sprouts. I had a roommate about 10 years ago who loooooved Brussels Sprouts. She would microwave them until they were hard tiny balls and pop them into her mouth. I hated the smell. That was my first foray with Brussels sprouts; I wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole.
Fast forward many years later and my sister made some for me in the oven. She roasted them until they were crisp. The smell was still awful. I’m not sure why I dared even try them but she promised me they were amazing. She was right. It was love at first bite. Since then I’ve been making recipe after recipe.
One year on Thanksgiving my neighbor let me use his house to bake a few food items. Absent-mindedly, I chose to make the Brussels sprouts in his place along with one other dish. When he got home late that night he texted me and thanked me for the present of Brussels sprouts smell in his house. Incidentally, I did not use his stove the following Thanksgiving. I wonder why?
So I found this recipe for Brussels sprouts and bacon that contained Maple Syrup at Lexi’s Clean Kitchen. I admit I was both intrigued and repulsed at once. I get that maple and bacon can go together. And bacon and Brussels sprouts can go together. But all three? Now that’s a mind bender. But I decided to give it a whirl anyway. See my take on Lexi’s recipe below.
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, halved & outer leaves removed
- 1 T. + 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 to 2 T. pure maple syrup
- 4 strips bacon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with foil.
- Halve brussels sprouts and remove outer leaves. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast, stirring mid-way, for 30 to 45 minutes or until desired doneness. (I like mine well done.)
- While roasting, cook bacon, let cool and set aside.
- When brussels sprouts are done, heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet and transfer them to the skillet. Pour 1 tablespoon of maple syrup over the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat evenly. Let cook for 3 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often. Taste and add the second tablespoon of maple syrup, based on desired taste (I didn’t add it and regret it.
- Sprinkle bacon, and extra sea salt on top; serve hot. Serves two to four, depending on serving size.
When all was said and done, I found that the Brussels had little to know maple taste. I only used one tablespoon of syrup but found myself oddly disappointed that I didn’t get much of the flavor of all three tastes (Brussels sprouts, bacon and maple). That being said, the dish was still really good. I reheated it the following day and accidentally burned it a bit in the oven. I found I liked it even more!