Brussel Sprouts are not the sexiest of vegetables. My son hates them. I used to raise my nose at the few ones I tasted growing up, boiled beyond recognition, mushy to the point of disintegration. So I decided to pretty them up, dress them up in a little black dress with a new hairdo and professional make up.

I wanted to call this recipe, Brussels Sprouts for Picky Eaters, but instead, I’ll be sophisticated and call them Bacon & Balsamic Brussel Sprouts. The alliteration appeals to my writer self.

If you try this recipe, please tag me on FB or Instagram with the hashtag #cookingwithcarole!




  • 1 cup good quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 slices of thick cut bacon, but into small lardon
  • 3 onions sliced thinly on the mandolin
  • 1 lb of Brussels Sprouts, organic preferably, shaved thinly on a mandolin
  • 1 cup of shredded carrots
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Seeds of one pomegranate (optional, but it sure makes the dish pretty)


  1. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and reduce on medium heat by two thirds (it will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes). This can be done in advance and kept in the refrigerator. You won’t use all the reduced vinegar for this recipe, but the rest can be used for a salad or even to macerate strawberries.
  2. In a cast iron pan, start sweating the bacon. To avoid splatter, be patient and cook on medium low heat.
  3. Once the bacon is crispy to your liking, remove from the pan onto a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  4. Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté until they reach the color of caramel, maybe 10 minutes. Don’t turn your back on them for too long, or they will burn.
  5. Once the onions are a nice caramel color, add the shaved Brussel Sprouts and the carrots and cook for another 10 minutes or so, mixing every 2 minutes.
  6. Add one to two tbsp of the reduced balsamic vinegar over the vegetables and cook until the vinegar has evaporated, another 5 minutes approximately.
  7. To serve, spoon the vegetables into a serving dish, sprinkle with the cooked bacon pieces and the pomegranate if using.