I love all the recipes I share with you here, but every now and then there is one that just blows the rest out of the water and gets me really excited. This quick and easy recipe for Brussels sprouts is definitely one of the latter.
The back story: A few weekends ago, Eugene and I took a long subway ride down the village in search of pie. I'd read that the editors of Martha Stewart Living had opened a weekend pop-up pie and tart shop in celebration of her latest book, and told Eugene about it. He's a huge pie fanatic so we made a plan to check it out.
I wish you could have seen how excited he was about this; the entire trip down he kept wondering out loud about how many pies he'd get, and once we got off the train he got so worked-up that he was practically tripping over himself. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the shop, the pies were all sold out; they hadn't anticipated the demand and ran out of pie several hours before closing.
We left sad, empty-handed, and hungry, and decided to soothe ourselves with brunch at a nearby French bistro. He ordered a croque monsieur and I the housemade hotdog on a pretzel bun. I also requested a side of brussels sprouts.
The dishes arrived, and to be honest, they weren't all that great. The flavors where amazing, but it was nearing the end of service and you could tell they weren't prepared well. My bun was hard and over toasted--like it had been left in open air for a few hours; and my hotdog--more of a spicy sausage--was overcooked and a little dry. The brussels sprouts, though, got me excited. They were too oily, but the idea--shredded and sauteed hash-style with pearl onions and lardon--was wonderful.
"I'm going to fix this," I told Eugene, as I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo for reference.
And fix it I did. I spent about two weeks playing with this recipe (we've been eating a lot of Brussels sprouts around here). I replaced lardon with thick country slab bacon that I diced into tiny cubes and sauteed until crisp. I then added a lot of finely diced onions and cooked them in the bacon fat until caramelized and just a tiny bit charred. I shredded a half pound of Brussels sprouts in my food processor and then added them into the bacon and onion mix, stirring well to coat, then sauteing until tender. Just before serving, I folded in thick, plain Greek yogurt and then drizzled with reduced aged balsamic vinegar to highlight the sweetness of the sprouts. Seasoned with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper, the result is incredible--sweet and sour, creamy and crisp. The bacon adds a hint of smoke, and the reduced balsamic adds another layer of earthiness.
I've been eating this straight from the skillet as a main dish, and then serving it to Eugene as a side along with some baked ham. I bet this would also be amazing with roast or grilled chicken or turkey, and would be an awesome dish to bring to a potluck.
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Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts Hash
Serves 2 as a side; can be doubled
2 thick slices country bacon, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded finely (I use my food processor for easy shredding; you can also just slice finely with a knife)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (full fat is best)
4 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add the diced bacon to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (I use cast iron) and place over medium-high heat. Cook the diced bacon until crisp and all the fat is rendered. (If the pan is a little dry because the bacon didn't render much fat, drizzle in some olive oil.)
While the bacon cooks, pour the balsamic into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Let reduce by about half until the the vinegar is thick. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool.
Once the bacon is ready, add the diced onions and spread evenly in the skillet. Saute until caramelized and golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the shredded Brussels sprouts to the pan and fold into the bacon and onion mixture until evenly distributed. Let cook for five minutes, until the sprouts are tender. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Fold in the Greek yogurt and place on a serving dish. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over the entire dish and serve immediately.