Sometimes, when I put together one of these “have we had enough of this food trend” posts, it is because I’m personally starting to get sick of seeing a certain ingredient or technique popping up everywhere, and I’m just venting. Sometimes it is because I see the writing on the wall. But not this time.
I love Brussels sprouts, something that 9-year old me would probably slap me in the face for admitting. So, once Brussels sprouts began….ahem….sprouting up on seemingly every menu in town, I was all about it. But, this past weekend we had some friends in from San Francisco who informed me, while digging in to the Brussels sprouts side dish I’d just prepared, that sprouts are on their way out.
“Oh, Brussels sprouts have totally jumped the shark.” she said, “Fresh peas are the new hot vegetable. Don’t worry; in a year or two, Atlanta will catch up.”
I was less offended by the fact that I was just told that the dish I’d just prepared was basically old news, and I didn’t even mind the fact that she had taken a jab at Atlanta for being behind the times compared to San Fran. What did bother me was the nagging thought – “What if she is right??”
Now, I expect those of you that don’t like Brussels sprouts – which, lets face it, is a veggie that most people either love or hate- then I’m sure this would be welcome news for you. But what about the rest of you? Have Brussels sprouts overstayed their welcome?
Also, for those of you that are still on the sprout-loving train, the dish we were enjoying when my friend broke this terrible news to me was my first attempt at recreating the wonderful Brussels sprouts side dish that I recently reviewed from Paper Plane in Decatur. This was my first go at it, and I think that it needs a little more work to actually duplicate Paper Plane’s version, but this was still a crowd pleaser and was quick and easy to throw together in a pinch.
Brussels sprouts with bacon and blueberries (Interpreted from Paper Plane)
2-3lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1lbs slab bacon, cut into thick chunks
1 pint fresh, ripe blueberries
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Start by sautéing the bacon chunks over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until browning slightly and most of the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove roughly half of the bacon chunks onto a paper towel to drain, and use these to snack on while you cook.
You will likely need to do this in 2 batches. Add half of the Brussels sprouts to the pan, sliced side down, until the sprouts are browned and crispy. Once the sprouts are sufficiently browned and cooked through, add half of the blueberries and toss well, coating in the bacon fact, and cook until the blueberries are warmed through.
Repeat the process with the second half of the sprouts and blueberries, and serve immediately.