Sprouts done right

It's that time of year when CSA's are just coming back from hiatus, where spring produce hasn't yet hit, and when root vegetables aren't quite as comforting and exciting as they were about five months ago. And the novelty of all the different cauliflowers in the rainbow has long since worn off. Cruciferous is as cruciferous does.

While the produce waiting game continues, I tend to fall back on old favorites. There's my go-to kasha pilaf, the inevitable pasta with scallops and peas, and, of course, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon. It's a recipe I've perfected over the years, it's easy in prep and satisfying to eat. Hell, all I need is a pint of sprouts, two strips of bacon and a shallot or two and I've got dinner. It's comfort food of an entirely different stripe, in that I can make it without thinking and that it tastes the same as it always does. I like that it straddles the line between really good and really bad for you. Brussels Sprouts. Bacon. You can't go wrong.

1 pint brussels sprouts
2-3 slices thick cut bacon
3 shallots, chopped
1-2 T butter
1/3 C seasoned breadcrumbs.

1. In a large uncovered sauce pan, start to cook the bacon over medium heat.

2. While the bacon cooks, bring a medium pot of salted water to boil.
Prep the sprouts by cutting off bottom stem and remove outer leaves.
Cut each sprout in half lengthwise. Once the water is boiling, blanch
the sprouts for about 2-3 minutes, depending on size. They should
still look vibrantly green, but just a little softened. Drain the

3. When bacon is done, remove to a paper towel, leaving the rendered
fat behind. Cook the chopped shallots in bacon fat.

4. When the shallots are edging towards brown, add the blanched
sprouts and toss to coat. Dust with the breadcrumbs and, if desired,
use tongs to arrange the sprouts cut-side down. Makes for a good
crunchy texture.

5. Add butter and cook covered over medium heat 5-10 minutes,
occaisionally shaking the pan to stave off burning. In the meantime,
cut the reserved bacon into 1/4" strips.

6. When sprouts are cooked to your liking, mix the bacon in with the
sprouts. A little salt, a little pepper, and sprouts have never had it
so good.

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