Brussels Sprout Petals with Bacon, Onion & Maple

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People keep telling me they have been won over to Brussels sprouts, despite childhood loathing, having had bitter sprout experiences as children. How did those happen? Mothers from decades past overcooked the little green globes, thinking that would make them milder and more palatable to kids. But overcooking Brussels sprouts leaches out their sulfurous-smelling, cancer-preventative compounds, making soggy, less nutritious bad-smelling ick. A trauma not to be repeated. INSTEAD– try this delicious recipe, featuring the sprout petals quick sauteed with onion, sprinkled with oven-crisped bacon & just a little drizzle of maple syrup.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 3 cups small, fresh brussels sprouts
  • 3 or 4 slices uncured, smoked bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red or sweet yellow onion, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • drizzle of 2 tsp maple syrup


  1. Prep Sprouts: Trim and discard sprout bottoms and tough, outermost leaves. Just as you would core a halved cabbage, halve each of the Brussels sprouts and cut the tiny core out. Separate as many green petals as you can from each cleaned sprout. Shred the remaining bits of sprout halves. Soak petals & the shredded bits briefly (10 minutes) in lightly salted water to remove any insects or debris. Drain well; pat dry
  2. Make Bacon:  Set a rack on a cookie sheet. Place bacon on rack-topped cookie sheet and oven-fry several slices of bacon (350 degrees until crispy) in the center of the oven.
  3. Saute Veg: While the bacon cooks, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saute pan. Saute onion over medium heat in the oil until soft. Turn heat to high. Add 2 Tbsp of water and the Brussels sprouts petals to the pan. Toss and shake the pan until petals are bright green and tender and onions are caramelized. Set aside.
  4. Assemble: Remove bacon from rack and blot with paper towels. Crumble bacon over cooked sprouts in a serving dish. Drizzle with maple syrup. Salt & fresh-cracked pepper to taste. Serve.

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