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Author Notes: For many years, the only way I'd eat Brussels sprouts was if they'd been boiled and then drenched in olive oil and salt. I've been "branching out" lately, and here is my new favorite way to eat them. I took the photo before adding in the pumpkin seeds. If you leave the seeds out, this is a very simple dish that is still delicious. I prefer it with the sweet and crunchy seeds, though. - WinnieAb
Make the roasted seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds (I like using the seeds from local "cheese" pumpkins)
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Toss pumpkin seeds with the other ingredients and spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until crispy (but don't let them burn; cover with foil if necessary), tossing every 10-15 minutes.
Make the Brussels sprouts
- 2 slices bacon, preferably preservative-free
- 4 cups Brussels sprouts (about 20-25 medium sized sprouts)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 pear, sliced
- 1/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- Clean and remove any wilted leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Trim the bottoms and slice the Brussels sprouts in half. Set aside.
- In a cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat. When crispy on both sides, remove to drain and cool on a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the hot pan with the bacon fat. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring every now and then, so that all the edges start to get crispy (don't let them overcook on the outside before the insides have a chance to finish cooking, though). Add the brown sugar, stir it in, and cook over low heat for a minute or two more. Taste one of the Brussels sprouts and make sure it is cooked through. If not, cook a minute or two more.
- Remove from the heat and add the sliced pears and cheese. Crumble and add the bacon. Mix everything well.
- Mix in the pumpkin seeds, if using, and spoon on to a serving dish. If not using pumpkin seeds, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Best Brussel Sprouts