I used to hate brussel sprouts. My mom is Sicilian and she made them the way she made most vegetables: steam them and then dowse them with olive oil and chopped garlic. Although this concoction sounds good in theory, the little green bulbs always had a bitter after-taste put me off. So much so that I vowed never to eat them again in my adult life.
Well, that stuck for awhile, then one night the boyfriend and I watched a “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” episode where a dive featured brussel sprouts on its menu. The recipe had bacon, lemon and sage which are some of my favorite things. So, I tried the recipe. It was a super delicious hit at my house. Even my boyfriend who hates vegetables said that he would eat more brussel sprouts if I made them yummy like that all the time. This sealed my love for the little green bulbs.
The other day, at the store, I found an organic stock of brussel sprouts which I though looked really cool. When I brought it home the boy friend questioned my sanity. However, I assured him that it would turn into something yummy. Tonight, I got a chance to pull it out of the fridge, pluck the little bulbs, clean off the ugly leaves, and then cut off the bottoms. I found a bag of pre-chopped sweet potatoes at the store, as well, and thought, perhaps, the two flavors would go well together. Looking through recipes online I found this one from Martha Stewart. It had the whole sweet/savory flavor palette to it. So, I figured something close to that would work. Here is recipe I came up with. It was hit! The mixture of sweet, salty and savory was scrumptious. The boyfriend officially loves vegetables.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Sweet Potato and Turkey Bacon
1 stalk or 1 bag of brussel sprouts, stems cut and halved
1 bag or 1 sweet potato, chopped and cubed
4-6 pieces of turkey back (I used 6 because they were really thin.)
*1 TBSP olive oil
*1 tsp sea salt
*1 tsp vegetable seasoning or 1 tsp poultry seasoning
*1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
*1/4 tsp paprika
*Oil and seasoning measurements are approximate. I am an intuitive cook. So, use more or less to your taste buds.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay pieces of bacon across a baking pan. Bake the bacon for 10-12 minutes. It should look crispy around the edges and leave a little bit of grease at the bottom of the pan. Pull the bacon out and chop it. Throw the brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes in the baking pan, then the chopped bacon. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and bacon, then toss. Add your seasonings to taste and toss the veggies one more time making sure that all pieces are seasoned. Put the pan in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Stir the vegetables every 15 minutes to get a nice, even browning. The brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are done when they become fork tender.