Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Toasted Walnuts tossed in a Fresh Thyme-Roast Garlic Vinaigrette

 

I love to roast vegetables this time of year.  I know the title of my recipe is a mouthful but I didn’t want any ingredients to feel left out.  When I spied that small green mesh bag of brussels sprouts at the market- which should be the name of a youth soccer team in Belgium- I smiled and tossed it into my cart.  It’s time for one of my favorite Fall time side dishes of roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts with all the possible combinations of flavors that will go into this mix of healthy colorful vegetables.  If you find vegetables growing in fields interesting then try hiking along the California coast between San Mateo  and Santa Cruz Counties to take a good look at a seemingly endless supply of brussels sprouts ready to be harvested.  More likely you might notice the fields of brussels sprouts while passing through the area in your car, perhaps on the way to the beach in Santa Cruz.

The first and only time I stepped foot onto a field of brussels sprouts was north of Santa Cruz shortly after harvest.  It was a foggy morning many years ago, I remember hiking along the coast and wearing a jacket because of the cold weather.  I looked down and noticed  the  unharvested brussels sprouts scattered over the ground.  I reached down, grabbed a few handfuls which I stuffed into my pockets.  Nobody was around, just me with a couple of pocketfuls of sprouts taken as souvenirs of the experience.  Back in those days I only knew of one way to cook my small ‘gleaning’  and that was to boil the sprouts in water until tender -serving with butter, salt and pepper.  I think that today a large part of the popularity of brussels sprouts, besides the health benefits, comes from the infinite variations on the way they can be prepared.  My favorite cooking method is to first steam them whole until slightly tender then coat them with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt before roasting until browned in a hot oven.   The fog was thick early this morning here in the SF Bay Area which made me think about the endless rows of brussels sprouts  tucked under that cozy blanket of thick cooling fog.  They are quietly thriving in the fields above the coastline of the Pacific Ocean waiting for the moment of harvest and the flurry of shipping that sends them to Thanksgiving tables all the way up north in Canada.  If I was reporting on their story, I would write that Local Boy, or in this case Brussels Sprouts- does good.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Applewood Smoked Bacon and Toasted Walnuts tossed in a Fresh Thyme-Roast Garlic Vinaigrette

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds peeled and cubes butternut squash
  • 1 pound applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 head garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 3-4 small sprigs fresh thyme, for vinaigrette plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. Steam the brussels sprouts and butternut squash cubes for about 8 minutes, until barely tender, remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Allow the brussels sprouts to cool off enough to handle and cut in half.
  4. Toast the walnut halves in a skillet on top of the stove until slightly browned, set aside.
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Lightly coat the butternut squash and brussels sprouts with olive oil and sea salt, spread on one of the parchment lined baking sheets.
  7. Place the bacon strips evenly on the other baking sheet.
  8. Cut the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and place on the baking sheet with the veggies.
  9. Place both the baking sheets in the preheated oven, roast until the bacon is fully cooked and the veggies are browned, about 18 minutes, remove from the oven, set aside.
  10. For the Vinaigrette
  11. Place 3-5 cloves of garlic in a small bowl (the garlic cloves will be slightly soft in the center and more deeply roasted on the outer edges- I used the rest of my roasted garlic cloves the next day mixed with chopped onions for a roasted brisket recipe)
  12. Add the olive oil, sherry vinegar, thyme leaves, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to the roasted garlic cloves, mash and stir together.
  13. Slice the bacon in 1/4" strips.
  14. In a large bowl mix together the butternut squash, brussels sprouts, bacon strips and walnuts with the vinaigrette.
  15. Sprinkle on additional fresh thyme leaves and/or a sprig of thyme.
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Comments

  1. Oh, Patty… you had me at roasted brussels sprouts. The squash and bacon were just gilding the lily. Sigh.

  2. I love roasted vegetables! What a great side dish as we slip into fall – I love the thyme and garlic vinaigrette too!

  3. I’m gradually easing into a fall state of mine. This will be at the top of the list when I get there. It looks amazing. All my favorite autumnal flavors. Nice, Patty!

  4. Roasting veggies is the only way to go in my opinion, they are just so much better! This sounds wonderful with the vinaigrette!

  5. I love roasted veggies, but you kicked it a whole new level~~ YUM!

  6. I picked up some brussel sprouts at the market yesterday I couldn’t believe they were already out. I have a butternut squash too. I’m so glad I can use the oven now for dinner. I will have to work on those eyes for you. Maybe we should get together and work on our costumes for the festival too, you did get the memo, didn’t you, lol.
    -Gina-

  7. I am not crazy about brussels sprouts but this dish looks so beautifully tempting I think I will try it.

  8. Am I crazy to say I just woke up and saw this beautiful bowl of roasted vegetables and would like them for breakfast? Lovely! I can just see the fog in the SF Bay area in your beautiful description, Patty!

  9. This is absolutely beautiful! So many of my faves in here, especially the squash!

  10. This could be the most beautiful and appetizing brussels sprouts I have ever seen! Thumbs up for you, Patty. Gorgeous colours.

  11. This looks devine Patty! I love roasted veges, and these are so pretty.

  12. Patty – this recipe just simply sings to me! You know I love a great brussels sprouts recipe and yours is just that. That dressing has my mouth watering!!! Pinning now!!

  13. Looking good and healthy!!! love the whole combination of flavors and textures.

  14. Love roasted vegetables anytime of the year and these look wonderful with the smoked bacon and walnuts. I shall keep this in mind for Thanksgiving :)

  15. Wow this looks delicious. Pinning!

  16. Hi! I just saw this delcious dish on Pinterest and had to check it out. Love all the flavors you have combined here, and the fall colors are gorgeous too! Lot’s of delicious looking recipes on your blog!

  17. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I happen to be a huge brussel sprout fan. I know not everyone likes it. This is a dish I could eat for lunch or dinner-wish it were on my menu today!:)

  18. There is almost nothing better than freshly-harvested brussels sprouts. I’ve been lucky enough to take home a stalk picked by my husband from a friend’s farm on the coast. They were so sweet I couldn’t get over how good they were. But now I’ll have to do what you’ve done here with the butternut squash, bacon and the vinaigrette. Sounds (and looks) like perfection to me!

  19. I can see why you didn’t want to leave out any ingredients in the recipe title. Such a great combination of flavors! It even looks beautiful, too.

  20. Beautiful-looking salad, Patty. Although I’m not such a fan of BS, I think roasted and charred like this is the best way for me to eat them. This salad looks so tempting! I want to dig in!

  21. I LOVE this dish. The fall favors and colors are beautiful, then drizzled with that vinaigrette makes for a great side or vegetarian entree. I look forward to trying this. Pretty photo!

  22. Absolutely wonderful, Patty!! My kind of dish! I just adore brussels sprouts and butternut squash…I always oven roast them…I will be giving this a try! Yum!

  23. This dish is making me hungry for a big bowl of roasted veggies. What a wonderful representation of Fall flavors!

  24. I always adore Brussels sprouts and I saw the brunch at Trader Joe’s. I should have grabbed it. This recipe sounds perfect. I love smoked bacon in there (my typical Brussels sprout recipe has bacon in there too) and love the butternut squash in it. Sounds lovely!

  25. This dish has my name written all over it! I can’t wait to try it, Patty.

  26. Must try! Bacon always adds wonderful flavor to brussels sprouts, but the squash is what pulls me in.

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