I love vegetables. There are only a small handful I don’t like, and I’ve eaten them several different ways just to make sure it’s the vegetable that was the issue, not the preparation. When I meet people who say they can’t stand veggies, whether raw or cooked, I always look at them with a strange expression. I didn’t grow up rich, we were decidedly middle-class, if not lower middle-class, and we always had fresh fruits and vegetables to eat. My sister and I weren’t allowed to be picky eaters. We ate what my mom put on the table or we went hungry. That meant we ate eggplant, Brussels sprouts, succotash, spinach, butternut squash, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, all manner of beans and peas, peppers…the list goes on. To this day, one of my favorite toppings for pizza is just veggies. I mean, I won’t turn down a pepperoni pizza, but if you give me one with spinach, mushroom, tomato, onion, and artichoke on it, I’ll devour it in a New York minute.
One of my favorite veggie recipes, and one I’ll be making this Thanksgiving (14 days to turkey!) is bacon roasted Brussels sprouts. I’ve found that most people who hate sprouts, hate them because of the way their mothers made them growing up, which was usually boiled until soggy and gray. What you do is buy them fresh, not frozen, then put them on a baking sheet. Cover them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast them until they’re nearly fork tender. Cut bacon into chunks and sprinkle it over the sprouts, putting them back in the oven until they’re done. Toss everything in some balsamic vinegar, then put into a serving dish. Done.