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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta

March 19, 2014

Brussels sprouts are easy to hate. As kids, most of us encountered mushy, sulfurous, overcooked sprouts and immediately wrote them off forever. But it seems that people have finally discovered that their flavor is highly dependent on cooking method (caramelization = good, boiling = bad), and as a consequence, they’ve actually become quite trendy as a seasonal offering on restaurant menus. I’ve also seen them served raw, shaved as a salad.

This fast and easy recipe from the Gourmet Today cookbook roasts simply dressed sprouts at a high temperature, creating those tasty browned bits that have such awesome flavor. I didn’t have pancetta or bacon on hand so I just used some leftover ham. This worked fine in the recipe, although it probably wasn’t quite as flavorful as the pancetta would have been. Overall, a great weeknight side dish!

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1  pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if large)
  • 2  ounces sliced pancetta (Italian unsmoked bacon), minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup water

Directions

  1. Place a rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.
  2. Toss together all ingredients except water in an 11-by-17-inch baking pan, then spread out in one layer. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in water to deglaze pan, over moderately high heat, scraping up brown bits. Serve warm.

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