Given that I’m not a huge vegetable person to begin with, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that Brussels sprouts were pretty much at the absolute bottom of my list in terms of vegetables that I would actually consider eating. I felt this way my entire life up until a few years ago. At that time, I started to experiment with different Brussels sprouts side dishes for Thanksgiving, and I actually started enjoying them after eating Brussels sprout slaw and a Brussels sprouts and bacon gratin. A few years ago, my mother-in-law started making this Brussels sprouts dish and I couldn’t believe how much I loved it!
Honestly? Eating Brussels sprouts kind of makes me feel like a grown up.
In an effort to be totally transparent, I’m not sure if this is exactly how my mother-in-law prepares this dish. I just know that she’s been making “bumped up Brussels sprouts” for years now and we all love them. I skipped the capers because I don’t like them at all (too brine-y for me!), upped the oven temperature towards the end to crisp the Brussels sprouts a bit, and instead of raisins and currants, I used dried cranberries for a very Thanksgiving-worthy flair.
While I’ll never get excited to eat vegetables, anything that will make them taste good is a plus in my book. You definitely can’t beat pancetta (or bacon!), nuts and dried fruit :)
One year ago: Salted Caramel Apple Pie Two years ago: Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin Four years ago: Mashed Sweet Potato Brûlée
In an oven-safe 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the Brussels sprouts to the empty skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until they start to brown. Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, tossing once or twice. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F, stir in the pine nuts, and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the pancetta and dried cranberries.