Cast Iron

Pan Roased Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pears, Gorgonzola and Crispy Pumpkin Seeds

by:
October 29, 2009
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

  • Serves 2-4
Ingredients
  • 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
  • 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
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the roasted seeds
  2. 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.
  1. Make the Brussels sprouts
  2. Clean and remove any wilted leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Trim the bottoms and slice the Brussels sprouts in half. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the sliced pears and cheese. Crumble and add the bacon. Mix everything well.
  6. 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.
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Review
I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.