Bacon Vinaigrette Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash

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I am always looking for new side dishes to serve at holiday dinners or dinner parties. I normally do not care for Brussels Sprouts but this recipe is amazing. The bacon vinaigrette is the right combination of salty, sweet and savory. This is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

In a small bowl, to make the vinaigrette, whisk together:
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
5 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, brown:
4 oz bacon cut into 1/4 pieces
Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate to cool and pour out all the bacon grease but leaving 1 tablespoon in the saute pan, saving the remaining grease to use later. Add 1 shallot, finely chopped, to the pan with the 1 tablespoon of bacon grease. Cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat or until tender. Remove and cool, then add to vinaigrette.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add:
1 1/2 lb. brussels sprouts,
Cook until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and add to ice bath to stop cooking. Drain then place on paper towel lined baking sheets. Return the pot to boiling and add:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch square pieces
Cook until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and add to ice bath to stop cooking. Drain then place on paper towel lined baking sheets.

In the same large saute pan that the bacon and shallot was cooked in warm over medium heat:
1 tablespoon olive oil
cooked butternut squash
Saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and warm through. Add to a large serving bowl. In the same saute pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat and add the cooked brussels sprouts, cut side down. Cook without moving for about 3-4 minutes and allow to brown. Add:
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
Cook 2 minutes more then add to the serving dish with the squash. Add half the cooked bacon and enough vinaigrette to coat (you may not use all the vinaigrette). Stir and top with remaining bacon.

Serves 6-8

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