My obsession with brussels sprouts is not a secret. I could go on forever about how roasted brussels sprouts are simply the best of winter produce. I desperately try to convince even the most avid brussels sprouts haters (I’m looking at you, Dad) that they just haven’t eaten them the right way and it’s not the sprouts they hate, but the bland preparation. Roasted brussels sprouts are usually my weapon for conversion from hater to lover, but I think this recipe is something special, too. It starts with bacon, after all.
(Yes, I drain my bacon on coffee filters when I run out of paper towels. And ignore those sticks of butter, they were for cookies).
Brussels sprouts and bacon were pretty much meant to be, one of the greatest culinary couples of all time. Adding creamy Israeli couscous and sweet, tart dried cherries makes this dish memorable and unique. And cooking the brussels sprouts in bacon fat doesn’t hurt things either. I really, really loved this. After a week of eating out, this was the perfect light Friday night dinner, served with a generous chunk of baguette, a big glass of white wine, and The 5 Year Engagement On-Demand (hello, Jason Segel). I see myself making this over and over again this winter. It would be equally perfect as a Thanksgiving/Christmas side dish or packed away in Tupperware containers for lunch.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Israeli Couscous, and Dried Cherries
serves two as a main course, four as a side-dish
- 16 oz brussels sprouts (about 18)
- 3 slices thick-cut bacon
- 1/2 cup dried Israeli couscous
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy and brown. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil and add couscous. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes or until water is absorbed and couscous is tender (check your package directions for specifics). When bacon is done, remove from pan and set aside. Remove bottom part of each brussels sprout and slice the sprout thinly. Cook the brussels sprouts in the same pan as the bacon, draining off some of the fat beforehand if you wish. I left a nice coating of bacon fat, but drained off the excess. Stirring constantly, cook the brussels sprouts until bright green and tender. Add the couscous, bacon, and cherries to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Serve with a nice glass of white wine.