Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Thanksgiving Table: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

It is hard to believe it is already November.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is time to begin thinking about the foods that will grace the Thanksgiving table.  I decided to focus the next two weeks on foods that are traditions in my family as well as a few that aren't traditions yet but are destined to be very soon.  I promise that when Thanksgiving is over I will post several canning recipes for you food preservationists (I canned several great beet recipes recently), but for now, let's all be thankful for the holiday and celebrate with one of my favorite side dishes.

Finished Brussels sprouts-  these pictures are only of half a recipe. 
Shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon is one of those dishes that is welcome on the table anytime during the fall and winter at my house.  It is easy and comes together in no time at all.  It has been known to win adamant sprout haters with its buttery taste and cabbage-like texture.  My husband and I have it often this time of year by simply halving the recipe, and it is especially convenient since most of the items can be prepped ahead of time.  When I make this at Thanksgiving, I shred the sprouts the day before and chop and refrigerate the bacon ahead of time too. 

The shredding of the sprouts in this dish is really what makes it special and gives it an interesting texture.  Some of the pieces fall apart into ribbons and become extra soft, while other pieces are just crisp-tender.  Delicious.

I began making these years ago from a recipe in a Cooking Light magazine.  The original recipe called for hazelnuts.  I have tried it with the nuts, and it was good, but I don't always have hazelnuts around the house.  Pecans would work well if you wanted to add them.  We find that there are so many dishes at Thanksgiving that contain some type of nut, it is nice to have a dish without them sometimes. Not to mention, there is enough nuttiness around the holiday table when family gathers together.  I am sure you know what I mean.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon-  adapted from Cooking Light
serves 10-12

4 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, sliced into thin ribbons
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot on medium high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crisp and brown.  Remove the bacon to a towel lined plate to drain.  Add the stock to the pot.  Use a spatula to scrap up any brown bits left by the bacon.  Bring the stock to a simmer.  Add the sprouts, salt and pepper, and cook 4-6 minutes until crisp-tender.  Season to taste.  Sprinkle the bacon on top and serve.


  1. I knew I should have bought some fresh brussel sprouts, too! This sounds wonderful! :)

  2. You should get some and try it! They are so easy.