Brussels sprouts are one of chef Travis Lett's most in-demand dishes at his rustic-chic L.A. restaurant Gjelina—he makes a whopping 400 servings a week. So naturally, we thought of him while contemplating which sides to serve at Thanksgiving dinner. Thankfully, he supplied us with his go-to recipe, topped with bits of bacon, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. "Look for small, tight, and very fresh sprouts," he tells InStyle. "They're sweeter and easier to cook than larger versions that have been sitting around for too long." Read on for the recipe.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Balsamic & Lemon
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 lbs small Brussels sprouts, halved
1/3 oz salt and pepper
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
2. Pour off fat from skillet; heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in it. Add half the Brussels sprouts, cut side down; season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat until very browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining olive oil and Brussels sprouts.
3. Return all the Brussels sprouts to the skillet. Add ½ cup water, cover, and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Stir in bacon, lemon juice, and garlic; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with thyme, and serve.