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…

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 Pancetta

adapted 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.

Comments

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  1. shy

    If I can’t use the pancetta or bacon (don’t eat pork) what can i substitute it with..any other type of meat?

    Reply
    • Liren

      Hi there – great question! Might I suggest turkey bacon or duck prosciutto? I hope that helps!

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Yes, definitely very healthy! Though I admit, the pancetta might cancel out some benefits, lol.

      Reply
  2. Anna

    I was part of the group that hated it but my hubby made me change my mind. Totally agree with you it all depend on how you prepare it. Yours looks delicious with pancetta. :-)

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Glad you converted! It’s amazing, isn’t it, how much of a difference preparation makes?

      Reply
  3. Carol Egbert

    I love both and am in Sicily, where there is pancetta around every corner, there are no brussel sprouts in the market, perhaps I should try this with broccoli?

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Broccoli could work, as could broccoli rabe or kale or any greens they might have there. I think any cruciferous veggie could work! It would be fun to experiment :)

      Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Pancetta makes everything better :) Hope you try it — I think you’ll be surprised!

      Reply
  4. Berna Tuncay

    I actually bought brussels sprouts the other day but couldn’t find a desirable recipe. And I even thought about calling and asking you for suggestions! This one seems very tempting and worth a try :-) Thank you!

    Reply
    • kitchenworthy

      Berna, what a coincidence! I hope you tried it – I’d love to know if you liked it. This is definitely our favorite way to eat Brussels sprouts!

      Reply
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