Warm Brussels sprout and bacon slaw could fill your Thanksgiving vegetable needs
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
Obviously there are portions of our Thanksgiving menu that don’t change from year to year. We always roast a turkey, mash potatoes, prepare a traditional stuffing and gravy and my mother always always makes her delicious apple pie.
But there are things that change from year to year, as well. I don’t, for instance, continue to insist that we eat canned cranberry sauce (there was just something about that can-shaped blob of brilliant red, sliced into perfect discs that was so appealing to me). We occasionally skip Grandma’s green Jell-o mold. Last year we tried a different variation on Dad’s favorite creamed onions.
But the one thing that is constantly in flux is the vegetable aspect to our Thanksgiving dinner. What should probably be the focus of the meal — the Pilgrims and Native Americans were celebrating the bounty of the harvest, right? — has ended up being a perplexing afterthought in our carnival of meat and carbohydrates.
Over the years we’ve rotated between green been casserole (a classic!), a simple green salad (refreshing!), some kind of squash (in season!) and sautéed peppers and mushrooms (quick and easy!). But this fall I’ve been relatively obsessed with Brussels sprouts, so they’re currently scheduled for the prime vegetable spot on my Thanksgiving table.
For three years now, I’ve been enjoying fellow AnnArbor.com columnist Peggy Lampman's simple roasted Brussels sprouts recipe at least once a month. But for Thanksgiving, oven space is at a premium, so roasting is out. Instead, I found this really tasty warm Brussels sprouts and apple slaw that should nicely complement my Thanksgiving staples.
Notes: You can cook the bacon a day ahead. Just cover and refrigerate both the bacon pieces and the bacon fat separately.
The recipe calls for you to squeeze the coarsely shredded apple dry. I just wrapped the shredded apple in a clean dry dishtowel and wrung out most of the moisture. Paper towels would work, too.
Warm Brussels Sprout Slaw with Bacon
from Food & Wine
- 3/4 pound thick-sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed off and thinly sliced in a food processor
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Granny Smith apples — peeled, cored, coarsely shredded and squeezed dry
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels; reserve 1/4 cup of fat.
In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, or deep, wide skillet, melt the butter in the bacon fat. Add the Brussels sprouts in batches and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened but still bright green, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the apples and thyme; cook, stirring, until the apples are warmed through. Transfer the slaw to a platter, scatter the bacon on top and serve.