This classic side is bursting with flavors that will never disappoint. Hearty roasted Brussels sprouts are tossed with a tangy cherry balsamic reduction and smoky Shiitake bacon. It's so good, everyone might just forget that it's not the main course.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts With Shiitake Bacon [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 22-24 (about 2 pounds) Brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil mixed with 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons cherry juice (optional)
To Make the Shiitake Bacon:
- Wash and slice mushrooms and coat in coconut oil and liquid smoke. Add the red pepper, sea salt, maple syrup, and black pepper. Soak for a few hours or overnight, or if needed simply soak and roast.
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil Bake for 30 minutes. Make sure to separate the mushrooms and to rotate midway for an even cook. Mushrooms should be soft, yet slightly crispy.
To Make the Brussels Sprouts:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Clean and trim Brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
- Add Brussels sprouts to a cooking tray and drizzle extra virgin olive on top. Season with salt and pepper and toss using your fingers to coat evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until Brussels sprouts are tender.
- Rotate midway and remove extra crispy pieces during baking. Towards the end add the crushed pecans to toast.
For the Balsamic Reduction:
- In a medium-sized pan, add the balsamic vinegar, white sugar, and cherry juice. Whisk to combine and dissolve sugar. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
- The mixture should bubble slightly and reduce. Take a spoon and test the consistency by how slowly it drops from a spoon.
- Once the Brussels are cooked enough, add the dried cherries, Shiitake bacon, and toss in the balsamic reduction.