Brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and bacon

This was a dish one of my best friends recommended I make. It was about 330pm on a weekday and my brain was fried at the office, having concentrated for too long all day. I was trying to take a break from working/thinking by finding a dish to bring to an upcoming potluck party, but was going insane from a lack of creativity. Google didn’t help much either – a quick search revealed boring American classics. I didn’t want to bring spinach dip, pigs in a blanket sausages, another quinoa salad, or guacamole. So I emergency texted one of my foodie friends (this is what girlfriends are for, yes?) and asked for her advice. And tadaa, she suggested this little winner. I guess we really should just talk to each other instead of being on the internet all day. Who knew!

Anyway, people really liked this. It’s a good vegetable side dish for when you don’t want to be that person who brings the 5th container of cookies to a potluck that is clearly lacking in savoury sides and appetizers (why do people always bake for potluck dinners??)

Ingredients

  • Brussel sprouts – cut into halves
  • Hazelnuts – crushed into pieces
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2 shallots – finely chopped
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Lay the strips of bacon out in a pan over low-medium heat and fry till crispy, turning once. I’ve also had success cooking bacon in the oven – do it whichever way your little heart desires.
  2. Cool bacon on paper towels, then chop up and store to sprinkle on top of the salad when you arrive at the party.
  3. Mix 2Tb of the bacon fat from the pan with the crushed hazelnuts, finely chopped shallots, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a tsp of honey, and a splash of olive oil. I eyeballed all of these things. Taste as you go along.
  4. In the rest of the bacon fat, cook the brussel sprouts over high heat.
  5. Once done, toss the cooked brussel sprouts with the hazelnut mixture.

If you’re eating this immediately, just mix with the hazelnut mixture and top with bacon. If you’re bringing it to a potluck, pack the brussel sprouts, hazelnut mixture and bacon separately. Ask the host to warm up the brussel sprouts just before eating, then just toss with the hazelnut mixture and sprinkle the bacon on top.

 

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