You guys. I discovered something about myself recently. No, not the new set of wrinkles across my forehead (my mother fondly refers to it as the “hereditary bear claw marking.” Sigh)… or how my metabolism broke up with me a couple years ago and neglected to tell me that the relationship was over (double sigh). No. It’s something far less devastating…
…much to my surprise, I actually ADORE brussels sprouts. No. Really. I’m obsessed with them. OBSESSED.
Since childhood up until a few months ago, I was convinced that brussels sprouts were one of the foulest vegetables out there. They were on my most-hated list…runner up only to mushrooms…and Miley Cyrus (I just don’t get it). I am not a picky eater. Never have been. But there was no way I was going to eat those bitter, slimy, odd-smelling mini cabbages.
I attribute the hatred to never having them prepared properly. Growing up, my father was the only person in the family who enjoyed brussels. He would force them, simply BOILED, UNSALTED, and UNBUTTERED, on us every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Blech. Never understood his undying love for them. Even my mom resisted the b-sprout (In my dad’s defense, he is actually an excellent cook and a huge contributor to my love of food. He just didn’t realize the b-sprout’s full potential back then).
…UNTIL I discovered that you could roast them. Everything tastes better when roasted, right? So I took a chance and purchased some b-sprouts. And then I roasted them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. To crispy, salty perfection. As soon as they came out of the oven, I stood over the hot pan and STUFFED my face with them. I was devastated and thrilled all at the same time. I was sad for my former self. I had seriously been missing out.
And then to make matters more confusing, I combined them with some of the best things on the planet: caramelized onions, bacon, and CHEESE. All cushioned together in an egg custard and housed in a buttery, delicate pastry. Anything can taste good when you do that! Except mushrooms. I don’t trust them.
Granted, I took a shortcut and used a store-bought pie crust here, but by all means feel free to make your own. I’m just lazy. I reserve homemade crusts for special occasions. This was made for a regular workweek.
This quiche, however, could totally be worthy of a special occasion. Buttery, rich, salty, cheese-y, and smoky all at the same time. Perfect for a nice brunch or holiday breakfast. Or just reheated for lunch. It’s versatile.
Give the humble b-sprout a chance. It won’t disappoint!
Brussels Sprout, Gruyere, & Bacon Quiche (makes 6 servings)
1 (9-in) store-bought pie crust
1 cup brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 strips of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
1¼ cups heavy cream
Salt and pepper
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spread the brussels sprouts out evenly on a sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are crispy and starting to caramelize (about 15-20 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
2. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, crisp the bacon. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon and distribute evenly over the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust. Top with the roasted brussels sprouts.
4. To the fat remaining in the pan, add the butter, sliced onions, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Scatter the onions over the brussels sprouts in the pie crust and top with the grated cheeses.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper and then pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients in the pie shell.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.
I know I may be late to the b-sprout partaaay, but goodness, I am most certainly going to be the last to leave.