FullSizeRender-2 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- brussels sprouts are simply delicious. They are one of my favorite foods and I love how they can be prepared so many different ways. In this recipe, these Brussels sprouts are first roasted before being tossed with the sautéed bacon, shallots, and granny smith apples which have been cooking away in a brown sugar glaze. I would recommend serving these alongside tender, juicy pork chops.

I try to find inspiration to create new recipes anywhere I am. Last week, I was grocery shopping at one of my favorite stores, Central Market, and I noticed a lady cooking Brussels sprout samples for everyone to try. I had just gotten out of class and hadn’t eaten lunch yet so naturally, my hunger senses guided me towards her. She was cooking a similar version of this recipe and I began chatting with her about culinary school and cooking while I was waiting to get my hands on a sample. After I tasted the deliciousness, I began thinking about what I could do a bit differently to make it more of my own. The answer was simple:  lemon zest.

Our palate is capable of tasting 4 powerful things:  bitter, salty, sweet and sour. When creating a recipe, there should be different ingredients to hit different points of the palate. This makes eating more fun and enjoyable because our taste buds are being sparked by so many different flavors. Furthermore, that is why eating something only super sweet or only super sour isn’t enjoyable anymore after the fifth bite. This recipe packs alternating flavors with the salty/fatty bacon, tart granny smith apples, sweet brown sugar, and sour lemon zest.

For this recipe you will need:

1 1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and outer leaves removed
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
5 slices bacon, thinly sliced
1 medium granny smith apple, small dice
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the trimmed Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender and slightly browned, about 30-35 minutes. Be sure to shake the baking sheet every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooking. Next, render the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium low heat until brown and slightly crispy. Remove the bacon and transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Discard the bacon fat and add the butter to the sauté pan. Then, sauté the shallot and apples together over medium low heat until the apples are pie tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar until incorporated. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and transfer to the sauté pan along with the shallots and apples. Add the crumbled bacon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give everything a big stir until the Brussels sprouts have been covered with the brown sugar glaze. Lastly, top with the lemon zest. Bon Appetit!

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