Brussels Sprouts Need Love Too
Okay, I can hear some of you groaning. Eew, Brussels sprouts. I can also hear some of you cheering. Seems to me when you say “Brussels sprouts,” people either love ‘em or hate ‘em (usually the latter).
Growing up, Brussels sprouts never made it to our kitchen table. I don’t know if that was my mom’s own prejudice toward the vegetable, or happenstance. Secretly, I was relieved, because classmates would tell me horror stories about mushy, tasteless, over-boiled globs of green that they were forced to consume. So, I never ate Brussels sprouts until adulthood, when I tried this recipe, and now we eat Brussels sprouts all the time. We have fallen in love with Brussels sprouts! Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis, this recipe is one of our favorites, and it’s a side dish that goes with almost anything. Actually, I can eat bowls and bowls of Brussels sprouts prepared this way, all by itself, it’s that good. Even my 4 year old loves this.
I am convinced that people who hate Brussels sprouts have never tasted them prepared the right way. I also think that a good alternative title to this post would be: Everything Tastes Better With Bacon. Yup, this recipe calls for pancetta.
The ingredients are simple. Garlic, olive oil, pancetta, chicken broth. The original recipe recommended blanching the Brussels sprouts prior to adding them to the pan of crispy, browned pancetta and garlic, but I don’t like having to wash extra pots if I don’t have to, so I eliminated this step. I found that halving or even quartering the sprouts and giving them a little extra time to swim in some chicken broth achieves the same result.
If you’ve never tried Brussels sprouts – or are convinced you don’t like them – do give this a try. I really think you’ll be surprised. Besides, does this look so bad?
Brussels Sprouts with Pancettaadapted from Giada DeLaurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved/quartered if large
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, diced (you can substitute bacon)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté until beginning to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts to the same skillet and sauté until heated through and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the broth and simmer covered until the broth reduces just enough to coat the Brussels sprouts, and the sprouts are just tender. Serve.