You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 11 a.m.

Warm Brussels sprout and bacon slaw could fill your Thanksgiving vegetable needs

By Jessica Webster


This warm slaw makes great use of seasonal flavors apple, Brussels sprouts and thyme.

Jessica Webster |

Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year. I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly we’re just a week away, and I haven’t worked out my menu.

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 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.


Jessica Webster leads the Food & Grocery section for Reach her at You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Urban Sombrero

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

This recipe sounds fantastic. I will definitely try it. Brussels sprouts and bacon are two of my very favorite things.


Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

Thanks Jessica. I simply love brussel sprouts and will try this recipe soon. At Thanksgiving I can usually count on putting two things from my garden on the table, squash and brussell sprouts. You are right about oven space being at a premium. I usually blanch the brussell sprouts and depending on the size might halve them. Then, I saute them in some spices, butter, garlic and bacon bits that I make fresh earlier in the day while making breakfast.

Jessica Webster

Fri, Nov 16, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

Sounds good! What's your favorite way to prepare squash?