Ladies and gents, I love Brussels sprouts. Ever since two years ago when my cousin brought a dish of balsamic braised Brussels sprouts to Thanksgiving, I’ve discarded my presumptions about this dense mini cabbage-like vegetable and embraced its leafy goodness. When cooked down in the oven in a bit of balsamic and oil, the acidic vinegar melds with the sprouts’ natural sugars to create an almost thickened glaze, that caramelizes the crispy exteriors and helps create a sweet, tender inside. Fry up some smoky bacon bits in a pan, and toss in the Brussels sprouts at the last minute to crisp them up even more and let the bacon fat infuse its flavors. Top with a fried egg to make this dish a meal. My egg pictured above was a bit overcooked; I recommend going sunny side-up for a gooey yolk that will unite all the flavors wonderfully.
Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts
5 Brussels sprouts, halved
2 strips of bacon, diced into “bits”
1 egg, sunny side-up
5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
2. Cut off ends of Brussels sprout stems and halve brussel sprouts vertically down its stem.
3. Toss in baking pan with a drizzle of olive oil and enough balsamic to coat and a little more (about 2 and a half tablespoons).
4. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, take out pan. Toss the sprouts around and pour in about 2 more tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and another drizzle of oil and toss to coat again. Place back in oven for about 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, fry up bacon bits in skillet until crispy. Take Brussels sprouts out of oven, toss again in pan juices and vinegar, and spoon the sprouts into the skillet. I tilted the pan so that the rendered bacon fat would slide under the sprouts and the flavors would meld together.
7. After about a minute, the bacon should be crispy and the Brussels sprouts have caramelized a bit on the outside. Transfer everything to a clean plate.
8. Wipe down skillet quickly or get a new one and fry one egg, sunny side-up. Or over easy, whichever you prefer.
9. Top plated Brussels sprouts and bacon with fried egg.