Brussel Sprouts and Bacon
These Brussels sprouts are roasted until golden and caramelized, then doused in a maple-balsamic vinaigrette and topped with crisp bacon and toasted pecans. They’re so addictive, it’s hard not to eat the entire lot standing at the stove before you serve them
Why It Works
- Roasting is an easy, hands-free method for crisping the bacon and rendering its flavorful fat.
- Roasting at high heat helps caramelize (and tenderize) the Brussels sprouts.
- A splash of maple and balsamic give the dish a salty-sweet edge.
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved (stems and ragged outer leaves removed)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil.
Place pecans on prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they can burn fast. Transfer nuts to cutting board and chop coarsely. Set aside.
Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Lay the bacon strips out flat on the same foil-lined baking sheet, leaving space in between so they don’t overlap. Roast for until bacon is crisp, 12 to 20 minutes, rotating half way (cooking time will depend on thickness of bacon). Transfer bacon to a plate lined with paper towels; pour rendered bacon fat into a small dish and discard aluminum foil. When bacon is cool, finely chop.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F. Line baking sheet with fresh aluminum foil. Toss Brussels sprouts with rendered bacon fat, olive oil, salt, and pepper, directly on baking sheet. Roast, stirring midway through to promote even browning, until Brussels sprouts are tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning then transfer to serving dish. Right before serving, top with chopped pecans and bacon. Serve hot or room temperature.