Charred Balsamic Brussels Sprouts! These charred, salty and tangy Brussels Sprouts with bacon are the ultimate side dish during the holiday season. It’s super simple and is a guaranteed winner. This dish is perfect as a quick side for meals, or even a fun snack.
How to get the perfect Charred Balsamic Brussels Sprouts:
- Brussels Sprouts: Buy them fresh! Whether they’re on or off the stem, pick sprouts that are vibrant green, compact and firm. The smaller the sprout the sweeter it will taste. Bigger ones are more bitter, and will taste more like cabbage. Also, please note: don’t ever boil, microwave or steam Brussels Sprouts, because it will scar you for life. The taste will be very bitter, and the texture will be boring and limp. Overall, those methods don’t take full advantage of the natural sugars found in sprouts.
- Cooking preparation: The correct preparation is crucial. You want to get them nice and browned and crispy…even charred in areas. Don’t be afraid to char those babies up (char is flavor)!
- Fig Balsamic: Use a high quality one such as this from the Creede Olive Oil Company. This balsamic has a rich and intense fig flavor, and is a slam dunk with the nutty sprouts.
- Meat: Feel free to use bacon or pancetta. I alternate between the two all the time.
Charred Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb. bag Brussels Sprouts, halved (quartered if very large)
- 2-3 strips Bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
- 1-2 tbsp Creede Olive Oil Fig Balsamic
- Flaky Sea Salt, to finish
- In a large frying pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium-high heat.
- Add the Brussels sprouts, making sure they are in a single layer, and evenly sprinkle some Himalayan pink salt all over. (It's fine if there isn't a ton of breathing room. You just don't want a heaping pile in the pan, because they won't cook correctly and you will not get that beautiful char).
- Cook, stirring and flipping occasionally with tongs, for about 10-13 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and well browned. You'll want some char to develop. (If the Brussels are browning to quickly, lower your heat to medium).
- Carefully stir in the fig balsamic and toss until well combined. Add the reserved bacon and stir to combine. Once fully incorporated, remove from the heat and finish with flaky sea salt.
- Serve immediately.
- Bacon: You can either pan fry or microwave it, whichever you prefer. Feel free to use Pancetta if you don't have bacon on hand.
- Brussels Sprouts: I always remove some of the outer leaves, wash and pat them dry. The cook time is 10 minutes, but, if need be, cook an additional 2-3 minutes, depending on desired doneness.