Brussels sprouts, walnuts, fennel, and pearl onions over bacon-swiss polenta recipe

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This dish relies on a melange of filling fall and winter vegetables for its heartiness. The only meat called for is a little bit of bacon to add some smoky flavor to the creamy, cheesy polenta. Substitute a nice sharp Cheddar or even smoked Gouda for the Swiss cheese if you like.

  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 25 Minutes


  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1(16-ounce) package frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 recipe Bacon-Swiss Polenta
  • Chopped fennel fronds (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim Brussels sprouts. In a large bowl combine Brussels sprouts and olive oil; toss to coat sprouts with oil. Transfer sprouts to a 15×10×1-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and browned, stirring once.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with sugar. Cook and stir just until onions begin to brown. Cover skillet and cook for 5 to 10 minutes more or until onions are almost tender. Add fennel; cover skillet and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until fennel is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove lid; add broth, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until liquid is reduced to 2 to 3 tablespoons. Discard bay leaves. Stir in roasted Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and walnut oil.
  3. Serve vegetable mixture over Bacon-Swiss Polenta. If desired, garnish with fennel fronds.

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