If you’re anything like me, you start planning your Thanksgiving menu for the next year as soon as Black Friday ends. Oh, what’s that? You’re not a pseudo-recluse who obsessively reads cookbooks for fun? You’re just planning your Turkey day menu now? Fair enough. I
envy respect that. In that case, I’d like to offer you this recipe for pan-roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries and pistachios for your consideration. I know, I know. Not another brussels sprouts recipe, right? I hear ya. But I’m gonna do it anyway, and you will thank me later.
We eat brussels sprouts probably twice a week when they are in season. Until recently, I was a roasted brussels sprouts purist – brussels + fat + salt + oven = done. I didn’t even use bacon. Sacrilege. Last month I cleaned out our pantry (horror of horrors) and discovered that I had basically an apocalyptic stockpile of nuts and dried fruit. What to do, what to do. I scratched my head for a moment, and decided to toss some pistachios and cranberries with some brussels sprouts to try and nail down that elusive sweet / savory / salty combination that suits cabbage so well. Then I figured I’d better go big or go home, so I kicked off the party with some bacon, and here. we. are.
These are caramelized and crunchy with the just the right kick of sweetness, and would look gorgeous on your Thanksgiving table. Like I said, you’re welcome.
This recipe serves 4 (2, if you’re greedy like me), but can be very easily scaled up for a crowd. Should you accept that challenge, I will caution you to either use a gigantic skillet, or to prepare the sprouts in two batches. Overcrowding the pan will make for some sad soggy sprouts, instead of these crispy and decadent nuggets of joy. And now that I’m describing brussels sprouts as “nuggets of joy” I probably need to go take a nap. Clearly lack of sleep has rusted my filter.
Next week I’m going to rustle up a few more Thanksgiving faves to share with you – stay tuned!
Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pistachios
- 4 strips nitrite/nitrate free-bacon diced to 1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or another fat with a high smoke point
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup roasted salted pistachios coarsely chopped
- sea salt to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, then peel and remove the tough outer leaves. Halve or quarter the sprouts. I halve the little ones and quarter the big ones. The goal is a roughly even width for all the sprouts so that they cook evenly.
Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally, and cook until brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook until warm and soft, about 1 minute. Remove the bacon and cranberries with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Increase heat to medium high. Add the avocado oil. Once hot and shimmering, add the brussels sprouts to the pan, toss to coat in the fat, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
Add the cooked bacon and cranberries back into the pan, then add the balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid evaporates, 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and top with pistachios. Serve immediately.