The Cook’s Nook with Marcus Cordova

November 11, 2019

Over my years in the kitchen, I’ve found brussels sprouts to be among the most universally disliked vegetables. I’m not sure what it is about them that often brings out the picky eater in so many people. However, I’m confident that when prepared correctly, they happen to be one of the most delicious vegetables out there. Don’t believe me? Well, this is the test—and it happens to be very simple to prepare. Give this recipe a try and be sure to tell me what you think.




2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed

4 ounces slab bacon or pancetta (Italian bacon), coarsely chopped

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for serving

1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs

1 small Fresno chile, seeds removed, finely chopped

1 Tbsp thyme leaves

1 tsp finely granulated lemon zest


2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided



1. Remove outer leaves from brussels sprouts and set aside. Halve sprouts and set aside.

2. Pulse bacon in a food processor and chop until finely ground. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook bacon or until browned around edges and fat is rendered (about 4 minutes).

3. Add bread crumbs and cook until brown and crisp, stirring often (about 5 minutes).

4. Transfer bread crumb/bacon mixture to paper towels. Once cooled slightly, toss in a medium bowl with chile, thyme, and lemon zest and set aside.

5. Increase heat to medium-high and heat 2 Tbsp oil in the same skillet. Add halved brussels sprouts and season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally until deeply browned all over (5–8 minutes). Reduce heat to low, cover skillet and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).

6. Uncover skillet and add reserved leaves and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Toss to combine. Cover skillet and cook, tossing occasionally until leaves are bright green and just wilted (4–5 minutes). Uncover and add the remaining 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Season with salt.

7. Transfer brussels sprouts to a platter, drizzle with oil and top with bread crumb/bacon mixture (reheat mixture in the microwave if needed).