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Brussels Sprout Leaves with Bacon

Crispy pieces of bacon lend a salty-savory note to this side dish, which uses only the leaves of the brussels sprouts. Be sure to cook the leaves just until they are bright green and tender; don’t overcook them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. grainy mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 6 bacon slices, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and cooked until crisp

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and garlic. Pour in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Remove the outer leaves from each brussels sprout and discard any that are blemished. Continue to separate the leaves of the brussels sprouts, using a small, sharp knife to cut away the core.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brussels sprout leaves and the 1/2 cup water. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the leaves until bright green and tender, about 7 minutes, adding more water if needed. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the bacon to the olive oil mixture. Drizzle over the brussels sprout leaves and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, by Tasha DeSerio & Jodi Liano (Weldon Owen, 2010).