balsamic brussels sprouts salad with bacon + blueberries
My inner English language nerd is geeking out over the name of this recipe.
Balsamic. Brussels. Bacon. Blueberries. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Ah, see? It’s coming full circle.
This salad is entirely the result of a moment of inspiration, a rumbling tummy and a little too much caffeine-induced cooking creativity. It’s the result of my inner sweet and savory monster, the one that wants both bacon and blueberries at the same time — with a little bit of goat cheese thrown in, thankyouverymuch.
This salad also is the result of my inner brussels sprouts monster — you know, the one that wants brussels however, wherever, all the time. It’s why I crave brussels sprouts, in any form, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My parents may have had trouble getting me to eat my mushrooms and my sandwiches (yeah, I was a weird anti-sandwich kid), but the sprouts never were questioned.
I know I just said the other day how I rarely eat meat and now here I am with yet another meal of the meat-inclusive variety within one week. But before you call blasphemy, hear me out — this salad, though you may not believe me, is just as good sans bacon. I swear. And when we’ve met our meat eating quota for the week, that’s how I make it. Sometimes we eat it as a main salad — other times, as a side dish. Sometimes I have a bowl for dessert, sometimes I want to sprinkle it like granola on top of my breakfast yogurt, I don’t know. It’s just something the body tells me to do.
Of course, if you’re not a blueberry fan or don’t feel right buying them in the dead of winter, dried cranberries or cherries work just as well. You can add a little bit of crunch and saltiness to the salad (especially the baconless version) by tossing in a handful of walnuts or cashews. And if you’re not into goat cheese, you can use blue cheese crumbles instead. Then, you’ll have balsamic brussels sprouts salad with bacon, blueberries and blue cheese.
Boy, that is a beautiful thing to behold.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Blueberries
A Girl Versus Dough original
Yields: 4 servings as a main dish, 6 as a side
6 ounces (about 4 strips) bacon, chopped
24 ounces (about 4-5 cups) brussels sprouts, stems removed, halved and leaves picked off (you can cut the cores into quarters or leave them out)
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup blueberries
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Heat a large (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook until just crispy, about 5 minutes.
Add brussels sprouts, minced shallot and garlic; toss. Saute until brussels sprouts leaves begin to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add blueberries and goat cheese; toss lightly to combine. Serve warm.
NOTE: If you want to make the salad without bacon, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (instead of adding bacon), then proceed as directed.
What a great way to change up brussel sprouts. I need to make them soon.
Barbara — It’s one of my new favorite ways to eat them! Hope you like it! 🙂
I love brussels sprouts and balsamic so I know I would simply adore this recipe! Beautiful!
Robyn — I can’t get enough of them, either!
Sigh, Dwight. Those were the good old Office days.
I’ve never put blueberries in my salads. And obviously I’ve been missing out.
Joanne — DO IT. You won’t regret it. (And good old Office days, indeed.)
Your inner sweet and savory monster should meet mine. They’d have a heck of a time together! This dish looks fresh, full of nutrition and tooooons of flavor!
Julia — Haha, I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with one of those. 🙂
Um, I’m kind of in love with the Office quote – it’s been too long since I’ve seen that clip!
Heather — Me. Too. One of my favorites, ever. 🙂
What a fabulous recipe for Brussels Sprouts! Pairing the robust sprouts with the lush goat cheese and the pop of sweetness from the blueberries is inspired!
Deb — Thank you so much!
Ah, I love brussels too!! I could have them at every meal. They are fantastic. And so so so good with bacon. A match made in heaven I think. Never thought of adding blueberries, but I suppose I should give it a try, as I have quite the obsession with berries as well!
Natasha — Brussels sprouts are the best! And pairing them with bacon and blueberries is a surprisingly tasty combination. I hope you like it!
I’m totally digging this new take on brussel sprouts. Who says you can add fruit to your veggies? Plus, bacon makes everything better. FACT.
Lauren — It’s so true. Bacon always, always ups the ante. 🙂
What a beautiful combination of flavors! Perfect winter side dish, if you ask me! 🙂
Caroline — Thank you! I agree 😉
I love when too much caffeine gets the creative juices flowing. This salad sounds amazing. I love the sweet, salty, and tanginess of it all!
a farmer in the dell — Caffeine is a wonder drug like that. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
BLUEBERRIES?? and brussels as one? oh my god you blew my mind.
Claire — Haha, it’s amazing. Truly.
Gorgeous pictures, girl! And this salad is screaming my name!
Ashley — Thank you so much, my dear!
LOVE the bacon addition in this dish – makes brussels sprouts that much better. But! the blueberries are killer – sweet & savory, heck yes!
Julie — I get weak in the knees for sweet-savory combos. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
Love the flavors in this. Not sure I’d have it for breakfast but you never know. But you definitely made me hungry!
Abbe — Haha, it’s an interesting breakfast, to be sure. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
Swooning over that pic of the bacon. This salad has my name written all over it. I need to go buy some sprouts for dinner tonight!
Carrie — Thanks! I hope you like it!