Christmas is in the air… and on TV … and in the stores… and in the town centers. I have to admit that I’m one of those people who likes the season. Back home I always loved driving through neighborhoods searching for great Christmas light displays, though now I have to be content with the big displays around London. Not that I’m complaining…
This year, when I went home to the US for Thanksgiving, we got some early-season snow, and that plus the Christmas trees and decorations going up around the towns really put me into the Christmas mood.
Of course, with all this festivity comes the realization that you might have to bring something (or cook everything) for a holiday dinner sooner than you’re willing to admit. These Brussels sprouts with lots of lovely things should help make that a lot easier. You just have to be sure to claim them first!
I didn’t think I was a big fan of Brussels sprouts for a long time. I don’t really like cabbage, and I just equated them with tiny cabbages. However, they are a lot lighter tasting than cabbage, and they are perfect for roasting and pan frying. Plus, once you add bacon and garlic, how can they not be good?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots
On the Counter
1 lb/500 g Brussels sprouts
1 long shallot or 2 small round shallots, halved and sliced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 bacon rashers (4 slices of American bacon) cut into small pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
baking sheet or roasting tray
What to Do
Heat your oven to 220C (425F). Quarter the Brussels sprouts, and toss with all other ingredients. Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet, foil-lined if you want less clean up later on.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing them around with a wooden spoon about halfway through. Once the Brussels sprouts look soft and browned, and the shallots and bacon are cooked, they are ready to go.
If you somehow end up with leftovers, you can turn them into a quick and easy pasta dish for the next day. If you don’t eat pasta, bake a few chicken drumsticks and you’ll have a mini-roast lunch.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon with Pasta
On the Counter
Leftover bacon and shallot Brussels sprouts
Dried penne, ziti or mafalda corta (85 g/3 oz per serving)
A heap of grated parmesan cheese
Juice from 1/4 to 1/6 lemon
What to Do
In a salted pot of boiling water, cook as much pasta as you need for your leftovers, about 85 g/3 oz dried per person.
Meanwhile, heat up the leftover Brussels sprouts.
When your pasta is ready, reserve about 120 mL (1/2 cup) of pasta water.
Drain the pasta and toss in reserved pasta water, 1/2 the parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Stir well to combine. Then toss in the sprouts and gently combine.
Serve, with the remaining parmesan on top.