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Mother Knows Best
October 14, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

Thirty years ago, my younger self would never believe I’m expounding the virtues of Brussels sprouts. Back then they were my arch enemy at lunchtime. My daycare served them at least once a week. All I really wanted was to run next store and sneak some of the vanilla cookies from the Italian pastry shop.

What I didn’t know back then was that Brussels sprouts could be downright delicious if prepared properly. For my palate, that means not cooked to mush in a pot of boiling water, which by the way produces a pungent aroma being from the cabbage family and all.

I also adhere to the philosophy that bacon makes most things better. Luckily, my 7-year old and 2 year old daughters agree. They’re also quite fond of oranges, so I threw some fresh zest and juice into the mix too. My last trick was to serve them in an altered state—shredded. While I’m not one to sneak in ingredients or disguise food for them—they always know exactly what they’re being served, I do think it’s a more fun way to learn to love this often shunned vegetable.

Orange & Bacon Scented Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6 to 8

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces smoked, thick cut bacon, diced
4 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
1/2 orange, zest removed and juiced
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined dish.
  2. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of oil from the pan. Add the Brussels sprouts and saute until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the orange zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to mix well, Spoon onto a serving platter, and sprinkle cooked bacon pieces over top before serving.

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