Makes 3 or 4 main-dish or 6 to 8 first-course servings

Notes: Up to one day ahead, prepare brussels sprout leaves (step 1); wrap in a towel, seal in a plastic bag, and chill. To make croutons, bake 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes firm white bread in a 10- by 12-inch pan in a 350° oven, stirring often, until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

Rinse sprouts, drain, and discard discolored leaves. Using a small, sharp knife, trim stem end of each sprout to release a layer of leaves, then pull the leaves from the sprout (save). Continue to trim and discard stem, pulling off (and saving) leaves until only about 1/2 inch remains of center of sprout; cut this portion in half lengthwise. Repeat to separate leaves on remaining sprouts.

Step 2

Cut bacon into 1/4-inch dice. In a 14-inch wok, 14-inch frying pan, or wide 6- to 8-quart pan, stir bacon often over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes; transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour bacon drippings from pan and reserve, if desired for dressing.

Step 3

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 5 tablespoons olive oil, 5 tablespoons vinegar, shallots, garlic, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Peel onion and cut lengthwise into thin slivers.

Step 4

Return 1 tablespoon bacon drippings to pan or add 1 tablespoon olive oil; add sliced onion and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Stir often over medium-high heat until onion is limp and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Pour into bowl with vinegar and olive oil mixture.

Step 5

Add another tablespoon bacon drippings (discard any remaining) or olive oil to pan over high heat; when hot, add brussels sprout leaves and stir until limp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add croutons, bacon, and oil-and-vinegar mixture to pan; stir until hot and well mixed. Pour into a wide bowl and sprinkle with chopped egg. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Gordon's House of Good Eats

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