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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon with White Beans

Maine Comfort

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon with White Beans

Ah, the beauty of Maine—it’s not just in the rolling hills, rocky coasts, or picturesque lighthouses. It’s also in the kitchen, where culinary traditions are as comforting as a wool blanket on a crisp autumn day. When you think about comfort food in Maine, your mind might wander to chowders or blueberry pies. Today, let’s add another delight to the list: Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Bacon with White Beans. Yep, it’s as comforting as it sounds!

Why Brussels sprouts, you ask? Well, these mini cabbages are a hearty vegetable that can withstand the sometimes unforgiving climate of Maine. They grow well here, storing all that good nutrition and flavor, ready to be harvested in the late fall. As for bacon, its smoky, salty goodness is synonymous with comfort in any state but has a special resonance in Maine’s rural communities, where locally sourced meat is a staple.

And then, white beans. They are a simple yet versatile legume, pairing beautifully with a wide range of flavors. They’re like the “Mainer” of the food world—unpretentious and dependable.

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon cut into small matchsticks
  • 1 can 15 ounces white beans, drained
  • 1 medium shallot chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Fire up that oven of yours to 375°F. Stick a large roasting pan inside to get it nice and hot. Once it’s ready, pull it out and carefully scatter your halved Brussels sprouts across it. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle a dash of salt over these green gems.
  • Time to roast! Stick the pan back in the oven for 15 minutes. After that, give those sprouts a little flip and roast them for another 15-20 minutes. You’re looking for a tender middle and a caramelized, slightly crispy edge. When they hit that sweet spot, take them out and set them aside.
  • As the sprouts get their roast on, let’s get that bacon sizzling! Heat a medium-large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the bacon matchsticks and stir occasionally. Cook them until they’re crispy around the edges but still have some chew in the middle.
  • Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat. Yes, we’re keeping some; it’s flavor gold. Toss in the chopped shallot and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Follow this with garlic for another 1-2 minutes. Your kitchen should smell divine right about now.
  • Mix in your roasted Brussels sprouts and drained white beans. Gently fold everything together. You’re almost there!
  • Transfer this glorious mix to a serving dish. Drizzle the lemon juice over the top, zest that lemon and sprinkle it on, and don’t forget the minced parsley and a smattering of black pepper.

And voila! You’ve got yourself a hearty, comforting dish that sings the song of Maine’s culinary landscape. This is more than a dish; it’s a reflection of Maine’s seasonal rhythms, a nod to the state’s agricultural bounties, and a testament to the simple joys of home-cooked meals. Each forkful offers the nutty, earthy flavors of Brussels sprouts, the meaty chew of bacon, and the creamy, comforting white beans—all harmoniously tied together by the tangy lemon and fresh parsley. Serve it hot, or enjoy it at room temperature. It’s your Maine comfort, your way.

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