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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

If you’re game, use a sharp knife to carve an X in the round side of two handfuls of fresh chestnuts in their shells. Roast them at 425°, X-side up, for 20–25 minutes. They’re ready when the incisions split open, revealing the flesh inside. Don’t roast them too long or the sweet meat will harden. There are other caveats: the shells may break open, but peeling chestnuts is still difficult and hard on the thumbs. Not all the chestnuts may be usable—I once found myself on Thanksgiving eve with a bowlful of moldy ones—which means a lot of work for nothing. But, oh the smell! My solution? Roast a few for ambiance and experience, but cook with the steam-packed variety. Avoid any packed in liquid.

By / Photography By Frances Cannon | September 01, 2016

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat oil over medium heat in a roasting pan or oven-proof skillet. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain all but two tablespoons of fat from the pan. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and chestnuts and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the sprouts are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir in the butter and balsamic vinegar. Transfer to a platter and top with the crispy bacon.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pound bacon, cut into lardons
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • ¼ pound chestnuts, roasted and peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
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