Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Brussels Sprouts with Warm Bacon Dressing and the Holiday Side Dish Dilemma

As I enjoyed this very tasty Brussels sprouts with warm bacon dressing recipe, I was reminded Thanksgiving side dish decision time is rapidly approaching. It’s that annual dilemma where we’re forced to choose five or six recipes among hundreds of potentially awesome options.

What makes this decision so tough is that you want things that are traditional and comforting, but at the same time, want to keep the menu fresh and interesting. You love those buttery mashed potatoes, and yet you’ve wanted to make twice-baked potatoes for years. You always make Grandma’s chestnut stuffing, but that spicy cornbread version you saw on Pinterest sure looks amazing. What do you do?

Do what I do; keep the starchy cornerstones classic, and switch up the vegetable sides instead. Go ahead and do your favorite and familiar potato, stuffing, and gravy recipe; but when it comes to tired old dishes like green bean casserole, or peas and carrots, let your freak flag fly.

As long as you have a few comfort food favorites around, people will forgive a little experimentation, and this creative, un-cooked Brussels sprouts recipe would fit the bill. I love the contrast between the raw, crunchy vegetable and the rich, smoky, sweet and sour dressing. This would do any turkey proud.

While I decided to go raw this time, you can certainly turn this into a hot side by giving it a quick, stir-fry in a large skillet. Just a minute or two, until it starts to wilt, and you’re good to go. Anyway, I’m not sure if I made your side dish selection simpler or more complicated by showing you this new and exciting offering, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out. You always do. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4-6 servings:
1 1/4 pound Brussels sprouts (will make about 1 lb. trimmed and sliced)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 oz bacon, sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 lemon juiced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne

View the complete recipe