Will wonders never cease? I’ve been cooking for that special someone for more than 30 years, and over time, I’ve learned to avoid those foods that elicit “the face.” You know the one I’m talking about.
But recently we’ve been celebrating a “what-do-you-know?” period and learning to love all the foods to which years earlier we’d -- and especially he’d -- turned up our noses.
Granted, we have much of the same likes and dislikes, but to be honest I’m more open about foods that I’m willing to revisit after years of reviling. Sweet potatoes are a prime example. I really didn’t discover the beauty of them until I was well into my 30s after learning that you don’t need marshmallows to make them delicious.
Then kale came along (where had it been?), and now we both love it so much that it’s a weekly feature on our dinner menu.
Parsnips have been a no-no but I’ve never known the reason why, and when a fellow food writer and I tried to sneak some into one of our elaborate dinners, we were met with “the face.” So much for me trying to pass them off as mashed potatoes with a kick.
Likewise, Brussels sprouts for many and varied reasons. File this latest revelation under “bacon makes everything better,” because with the addition of bacon and pecans, Brussels sprouts went from banned to beloved. I have cookbook author Diane Morgan to thank for that as her recipe appeared in an old Bon Appetit.
I tried it, we liked it and guess what was served with it besides a perfectly cooked rack of lamb? Parsnips, and I’m not kidding you, they were gobbled. So, I think I’m going to try turnips next. I may be pressing my luck.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Pecans
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
1 pound Brussels sprouts 1 tablespoon butter 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 4 slices smoked bacon coarsely chopped 1 large garlic clove, minced 1⁄3 cup low-salt chicken broth Coarse kosher salt ½cup pecans, toasted, chopped
Trim root ends from Brussels sprouts. Using sharp knife or processor fitted with coarse shredding disk, thinly slice Brussels sprouts into shreds.
Melt butter with olive oil in large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; saute until golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add Brussels sprouts and broth; saute until crisp-tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with pecans. Serves 4.