Smoky Brussels Sprouts and Polenta with a Rich White
Brussels sprouts with bacon is a classic side dish. To turn the combo into more of a main course, serve it over hearty stone-ground polenta.
These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (a 5-ounce glass has anywhere from 110 to 150 calories)—all for 600 calories or fewer.
Brussels sprouts with bacon is a classic side dish. To turn the combo into more of a main course, I serve it over hearty stone-ground polenta. Admittedly, thinly slicing the brussels sprouts, as if for a slaw, does take some time, but they cook superfast this way. While I sauté most of the sprouts until tender and silky, I add about one-quarter of them soon before serving to give the dish a little freshness and crunch. A full-bodied southern French white is a good choice here; these wines are especially delicious with the smoky bacon and the slight sweetness from the orange.
Bacon–and–Brussels Sprouts Sauté with Polenta
Active 30 min; Total 1 hr 10 min
1½ cups stone-ground polenta
4 slices thick-cut bacon (about 4 ounces)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
¼ cup dry white wine
1 pound brussels sprouts (purple and green mixed, if you can find them), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1. In a heavy pot, bring 7 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce the heat to low and very gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 1 hour. If the polenta gets too thick, stir in a little bit of water to loosen it. Turn off the heat, cover the polenta and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once or twice, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
3. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and turn the heat to high; boil until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 3 minutes. Add three-quarters of the brussels sprouts and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining brussels sprouts and cook until brightly colored and wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the orange juice and orange zest. Crumble the bacon, add it to the brussels sprouts and toss.
4. Spoon the polenta into bowls and top with the brussels sprouts sauté. Serve hot.
One serving 401 cal, 13 gm fat, 5.2 gm sat fat, 54 gm carb, 8 gm fiber, 13 gm protein.
Wine A rich, aromatic southern French white, like 2012 Château Terre Forte Côtes du Rhône Blanc.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.