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
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