All those people who claim to hate Brussels sprouts will like this.
2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, quartered
1 medium to large onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium apples (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Fuji), cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
2 firm ripe Anjou or Comice pears, cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
2 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 branches fresh thyme
16 large fresh sage leaves, torn
5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
1 tight-packed tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Slip 1 large shallow pan into oven to heat up (I use a half sheet pan, but you could use two smaller ones placed on two oven racks).
2. In a big bowl toss together all the ingredients. Be generous with the salt and pepper.
3. Pull out the oven rack(s) with the sheet pan(s) on it. Taking care not to burn yourself, turn the vegetable-fruit blend onto the pan. Spread mixture out on the pan(s) in a single layer, and bake 40 minutes, turning several times, or until sprouts are easily pierced with a knife and everything is nicely browned. If necessary, run under the broiler for a few moments to brown.
4. Cool, refrigerate, and reheat at 375° for 30 minutes before serving.
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