I’ve never been a huge fan of Brussels sprouts. This is just purely based on the idea of BrusselsSprouts, not even the taste. I hadn’t event tried them until a few years ago when I spent my first Thanksgiving away from home, when a friend brought a side dish of sprouts to our  potluck. I didn’t fancy them back then, and I was still skeptical of them until recently. We received some in our CSA share in the month of November. I was a little reluctant, but Stuart was ecstatic. I took a measly bundle from the bottom of the bin, and searched far and wide for a good recipe. I ended up cooking them in a Frittata with bacon, and it was absolutely horrendous. I swore off the sprouts again.

Not too long after, as Thanksgiving was approaching, we received some more from our CSA. Stu encouraged me to give them another go around, so I told him I would. I also was lucky enough to stumble upon an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats that was specifically centered around the beauty of the Brussels sprout. I thought I was ready to give them a try.

Oddly enough, I found my recipe in the October issue of Real Simple. This was after searching culinary magazines, websites, and blogs. It was a simple recipe for ravioli with Brussels Sprouts and bacon. Alton Brown had mentioned that bacon is the perfect counterpart to sprouts, and I love a good ravioli dish. I decided to give it a go.

Stu took the reigns on this one, as I was busy tying up loose ends (i.e. a pumpkin pie) for Thanksgiving

Ravioli with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
from Real Simple Magazine, October 2010

1 pound cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)
6 slices of bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pecan halves, roughly chopped
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
grated Parmesan, for serving

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Break into pieces when cool.

Wipe out the skillet. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the Brussels sprouts, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the vinegar. Add the bacon and toss to combine. Serve over the ravioli. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and top with the Parmesan, if desired.

Yeahhh! This was so good. I think the bacon did the trick, but also the fact that the sprouts were sliced so thinly. It was just the right combination of bitter green vegetable, savory meat, and soft cheese. Not only would I eat this dish again, but I look forward to the next time I can cook up some sprouts- even beyond the holiday season. Not too shabby!