I have a confession to make, until a couple of years ago, I hadn’t ever eaten Brussels Sprout. Growing up in the Indian subcontinent, Brussels Sprout is not a vegetable that was available locally or even popular. I only knew about the tiny green globes of goodness through photos. I still remember the first time I ordered Brussels Sprouts at a restaurant in Sydney, with a lot of trepidation, not knowing what to expect, and being totally blown away by these round green things of the cabbage family. I was surprised that I liked it, since I don’t like cabbage at all. Brussels Sprouts when cooked right should be slightly crispy with a bittersweet, nutty taste.
Brussels Sprout can be prepared in many ways, and unfortunately a lot of restaurant ones are either deep fried or charred, served mostly with a side which is either sweet or creamy or both. This essentially robs the sprouts of their nutritional value. Brussels Sprout is power packed with vitamins and cancer fighting properties and ideally should be cooked with minimal fuss so as to retain all its goodness. I usually either bake them or pan fry them. And pan frying them with bacon is my favorite way to eat them. Bacon makes everything taste good! It is a good idea to choose similar size sprouts to ensure even and quick cooking. The trick is to not overcook them as that makes them mushy and pretty much inedible. What you are looking for is a crispy crunchy mouthful when you take a bite. The cooking time is quick and when the sprouts turn bright green and start caramelizing on the edges they are done. This usually takes not more than 5-7mins on medium high heat.
This recipe works as a perfect side dish with most mains. It is quick and easy, and doesn’t require a whole lot of preparation before. As with any simple recipe, the quality of ingredients used determines the flavor. This is a four ingredient recipe and in my opinion the only way Brussels Sprout should be eaten, unless ofcourse you are frying them and covering them with bacon jam. In that case all bets are off!
Pan Seared Brussels Sprout with Crispy Bacon
- 1 pound Brussels Sprout halved and trimmed
- 3 cloves of Garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 strips of Thick Cut Bacon chopped up roughly
- Sea Salt and Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
- Heat up a skillet over medium heat and add the chopped bacon to it. Cook until the bacon is crispy and has rendered all of its fat. Transfer the crispy bacon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Reserve 1 tsp bacon fat in the pan and discard the rest. Add the olive oil to the pan and let it heat up.
- Add the Brussels Sprout to the pan. I try to put all of them face down first to try and get a nice crispy sear on them. And then flip them over and let them cook for a while. The sprouts will turn bright green when they are done.
- Add the minced garlic to the Brussels Sprout and sauté it for a while, around 1-2mins, until the garlic gets soft and releases its flavor. I don’t add garlic in the beginning as it would end up burning the garlic.
- Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the crispy bacon back to the skillet and toss through.
- Transfer and serve immediately.