1/2 cup chopped pecans or 6 unshelled chestnuts
24 brussels sprouts, stems removed, soaked in lightly salted water for 10 minutes
2 ounces (3 thick slices) apple-smoked bacon, cut in 1/2-inch squares
1 large red onion, thinly sliced and slices halved
1/8 cup turbinado sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw)
3/8 cup red-wine vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 hard-cooked egg, finely chopped
Note: The nuts may be prepared ahead; the brussels sprouts should be cooked and served the same day.
If using pecans, preheat oven to 300 degrees and roast in a greased shallow pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Be careful; pecans can burn quickly. Set aside. If using chestnuts, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick or cut slits in shells (to prevent exploding) and roast in an ungreased shallow pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Peel off shell and inner skin while still warm; let cool, chop, and set aside.
Cover brussels sprouts with water and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool, pull off leaves, and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, cook bacon over medium heat until lightly done, 2 to 4 minutes. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add sugar and vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes. Toss in brussels sprouts leaves, nuts, and pepper and stir until thoroughly coated with the bacon-and-onion mixture. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped egg. Serves 6 to 8.
From the December 2000 article Season’s Eatings.