brussels sprouts, bacon and figs

November 25, 2009

Yes, Brussels sprouts. The unsung heroes of Autumn. I used to hate them when we would have them at Christmas dinner but The New York Times hit it on the head with the claim that part of the reason they have risen in popularity is due to their genius paring with bacon.

Everything is better with bacon, no? (Actually, everything is better with cheese, in my opinion, but bacon’s good too…)

Well, I thought that there had to be some Thanksgiving inspiration in this series of odes to the wonderful season of Autumn and this dish would make a perfect side, if you’re cooking.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Figs


  • 4 to 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
  • 1 cup dried figs, stemmed and quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste.


1. Put a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, then bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put sprouts through feed tube of a food processor equipped with a slicing attachment and shred. (You can also do this with a mandoline or a knife.)

3. Add sprouts, figs and 1/4 cup water to pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until sprouts and figs are nearly tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until any remaining water evaporates, another 5 to 10 minutes. Add vinegar, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

An absolute delight. I halved the listed recipe but next time I would add more than 4oz of bacon. I also wouldn’t add any additional salt – the bacon brings plenty of that!

When I asked on my Thanksgiving Inspiration post about people’s favourite Thanksgiving dishes, Megan from The Runner’s Kitchen left me a comment with a recipe for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Onions and Golden Raisins. Sounds fabulous to me! Check it out here. Thanks Megan!

More love for Brussels Sprouts? Let it be known!

Happy Thanksgiving.

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