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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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl November 25, 2009 at 6:01 pm


I seriously eat brussels sprouts everyday – I could live off of them, haha :) Love this ode/giving thanks post!!


Food Makes Fun Fuel November 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I wish I read this before lunch when I had sprouts! I should of threw some fakin' bacon in there


ohonemorething November 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I know that the only time I've tried brussel sprouts I was grossed out. This was when I was really young though. And I've been seeing them so much around the blogosphere.. I want to give them another try. What's your all time favorite brussel sprout recipe? One that could change minds!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with the ones you love!!


Jenny November 25, 2009 at 7:50 pm

I swear i'm the only person in my family who likes brussel sprouts. I usually get the entire pot to myself :)


Holly November 25, 2009 at 8:13 pm

i have discovered a love for brussel sprouts and it is unlike any other. i am in love pairing them with figs…genius me lady. have a fab thanksgiving dear – chat soon :)


Susan November 25, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Brussels+figs+bacon+balsamic = YES PLEASE :D

I'm still scared to cook bacon though (it's a recovering vegetarian thing). I will have to get over that fear for this dish I think…


joyofood November 26, 2009 at 6:30 am

We always have brussel sprouts for Christmas dinner and as a child I always hated them. Now I love them.

Enjoy your holiday.



Thinspired November 26, 2009 at 6:38 am

I've actually never had sprouts with bacon, but tonight I am making green beans with bacon, which are delicious!

I love sprouts roasted with salt and a little maple syrup…mmmm!


carolinebee November 26, 2009 at 7:30 am

I used to hate Brussels too, now I love them!! I'm also of the camp that believes EVERYTHING is better with bacon added :D Have a great T-day!!


Carrie November 26, 2009 at 10:50 am

I used to hate sprouts and the only way I can eat them is to roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. I can't believe they actually taste good this way!


Katie November 26, 2009 at 3:10 pm

LOVE! I am trying out a new brussels sprouts dish with my family for thanksgiving today – a little risky with a family full of Texas taste buds – but we'll keep our fingers crossed.


Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) November 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Thanks for the shout out :-) Your dish looks delish (hey, that rhymes!).

I made the fam roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, caramelized onions, and cranberries today. They were good sports and sampled the sprouts, but I could tell they aren't veggie lovers at heart. Ah, well. More leftovers for me!


elise November 26, 2009 at 9:07 pm

how scrumptious do those look!!! i think i may have to try a soy bacon version. im not so sure the salty flavor will trasnlate, but its worth a try, no? sounds and looks delish


laurageorgina November 27, 2009 at 7:44 am

I usually make them in a wok with olive oil and garlic, and let them stick to the wok for a bit of smokiness. I plan on having them every day once I hit North American shores for Christmas (no brussel sprouts here in the tropics!) and the figs will definitely be starring in my sprouts this year :-)


Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats November 27, 2009 at 11:59 am

OMG FIGS + B SPROUTS?? Quite possibly two of my most favorite foods ever – I can't even image how delish they would be combined!!


Emily (The Experimentarian) November 28, 2009 at 7:39 am

Oh yum, that looks and sounds fabulous! I have never cooked fresh brussels sprouts, only frozen, which get kind of soggy. I will have to remedy that! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo


Janetha November 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm

so it was not until about 3 weeks ago that i found out they are not brussel sprouts.. they are brusselS sprouts! makes a lot of sense though. yours look delish. then again, all your food is always gorgeous and danno is a lucky man. and i had some delish BS at the foodbuzz thing, they were served with pig cheek.. hmmm.. which basically tasted like bacon!


Lynne November 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I have deep love for the brussels sprouts/bacon combo. Well played!


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