Fall Fest: The Conversion Experience

by paige on November 10, 2010

SEE THAT GUY at the Thanksgiving table, the one with his back toward you, with the beard and the silvering hair? Smart, handsome, successful; he had only one obvious flaw: He hated brussels sprouts. I have no patience for brussels sprouts haters, and this lovely man (my husband’s uncle) had the temerity to announce as he walked in the door for Thanksgiving, “I hope you’re not serving brussels sprouts.” Maybe I’m exaggerating slightly; maybe he waited to ask about the menu before dissing my favorite veg. No matter, my response is crystal clear in my memory. “Just wait,” I said. “Try mine.” I ignored his skeptical expression, and went back to work in the kitchen.

“Mine” of course, weren’t really mine at all; the recipe is from the late lamented Gourmet, and this recipe I have never altered, not a smidge. Why bother? The husband’s uncle? He loved them. Any recipe that can convert a determined hater needs no tinkering. What more could a cook wish for?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pancetta
Gourmet, January 2001
serves 4

1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
2 oz pancetta, visible fat discarded and pancetta minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water

Toss together Brussels sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in an 11- by 7-inch baking pan and spread in 1 layer.

Roast in upper third of oven, stirring once halfway through roasting, until sprouts are brown on edges and tender, about 25 minutes total. Stir in water, scraping up brown bits. Serve warm.

FALL FEST IS A cross-blog recipe (and tip) swap–and you’re invited to participate. Simply post your link or recipe or idea in the comments below my post, and also on the blogs of the other participants listed here. Want more information? Get the details (and the schedule for upcoming weeks). My collaborators’ goodies:

Alana at Eating from the Ground Up has a Brussels Sprouts Gratin.

Diane and Todd at White on Rice couple have Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint.

Food Network UK chimes in with Food Network UK is in with “Why I Love Cabbage Soup

Liz at Healthy Eats: Kale 5 Ways (Including Kale Chips!)

Alison at Food2: All About Broccoli and Cauliflower

Michelle at Cooking Channel: Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes

Kirsten at Food Network: Cheesy Brussels Sprouts

Caroline Wright from The Wright Recipe: Fresh Brussels Sprout Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese.

Caron at San Diego Food Stuff has Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Madeline at the Gilded Fork has Bodacious Brassicas.

Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ranjani November 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

I love brussels sprouts! They seem to be a popular choice for this week’s Fall Fest.
This week I made brussels sprouts with bacon dressing:

I also made pasta with cauliflower and walnut pesto:

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

I never liked Brussels sprouts until I tried them roasted. They are SO amazing roasted.

Kathleen November 10, 2010 at 11:17 am

I must try this recipe, love it. I have a couple recipes for #fallfest this week;

Ngoc November 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Love the story!

My Fall Fest contribution was broccoli:

Radhika @ foodfor7stages November 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

*My contribution for the fall fest*
South Indian Cauliflower crepe –

diane/napa farmhouse 1885 November 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

i posted my recipe for roasted cauliflower & garlic…both roasted long enough to caramalize…so delicious and children adore cauliflower this way…

monika November 25, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Hmm… I am a brussel sprout hater too… my mother always overcooked them, and made them into a potato brussel spout soup, where they’d become horribly bitter and overcooked… and the smell…

I think I need a brussel sprout lover to actually cook some good ones for me; don’t think I would like it as much if I cooked it myself.

(My favourite vegetable is probably even more reviled than brussels sprouts: rapini.)

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