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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

Blanched, then tossed in sizzling bacon fat

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Makes 8 servings. Instead of roasting Brussels sprouts, Sherman blanches the leaves only and tosses them in sizzling bacon fat.

2 lb. large Brussels sprouts, green leaves only (about 8–10 cups)
4–6 oz. thick-sliced smoked bacon (look for ¼” slices)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
4 oz. toasted hazelnuts, halved

Separate sprouts into individual leaves by progressively cutting off stem and peeling off leaves. (Reserve cores for another use.) In a large pot, boil water that has been generously salted (about 1 Tbsp. salt per quart). Blanch leaves, about 2 minutes, and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water. Drain and dry in a single layer.
Do ahead: Make a day ahead. Store in a sealable plastic bag and chill.

Cut bacon crosswise into ¼” strips. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium heat and cook bacon until browned, about 3–5 minutes. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off about half of the rendered fat. Over high heat, toss the leaves to coat and sauté until hot, about 2–3 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with reserved bacon and nuts.

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