Brussels Sprouts With Bacon and Figs

brussBaconfigsThis is another great recipe adapted from Mark Bittman. It’s a good introduction to Brussels sprouts. Bacon and figs would make cardboard taste good.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 cup figs, chopped (dried or fresh)
1/4 cup water
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, then bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Cut bottoms off sprouts and discard. Slice Brussels sprouts as thinly as possible. Use a mandoline or food processor if you want.
  • Add sprouts, figs and water to skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook until sprouts are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes, or until water evaporates. Stir occasionally.
  • Drizzle with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Butternut Apple Soup with Gorgonzola and Bacon

This combines two of my favorite fall things — butternut squash and apples — with two of my all-year-round favorites — blue cheese and bacon.


1 large butternut squash
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium to large tart apple, chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter
4 cups of water
2 cups of apple cider
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne and black pepper
2 to 3 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (or any blue cheese)


  • Cut squash in half (stem to bottom) and scoop out seeds and stringy pulp (save the seeds for roasting). Peel and cut into chunks.
  • Heat olive oil or butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion turns translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir often to keep garlic from browning.
  • Add butternut squash and chopped apple. I don’t peal the apple.
  • Stir in water, apple cider, vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Use an immersion blender to puree soup. You can also use a traditional blender and puree the soup in batches. Let the soup cool a bit and be sure to keep a towel and your hand firmly on the blender lid. The hot soup has a tendency to spew. If soup is too thick, thin with water or apple cider.

Top soup with a sprinkle of bacon and Gorgonzola and serve hot.

Serves four to six.