Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Sundried Tomatoes

 

Brussel sprouts. I know, I know.  They’re the bane of every adolescent (and post-adolescent) traumatized by bitter bites, but the secret to great brussel sprouts is all about the preparation. A little salt, a little pepper, some olive oil and a solid roasting give them a softer, more delicate taste, and balsamic vinegar and meats like pancetta or bacon give them just tender and mouthwatering enough to convince any brussel-naysayer to join the dark side.

I’m here today to make brussel sprouts sexy again. You heard me. Sexy sprouts. An impossible mission, you say? I beg to differ. These brussel sprouts are, in short, amazing. Phenomenal. I never thought I would crave these little lumpy green not-cabbages, but this recipe has 100% changed my mind, and my dinner plate.

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So how do we make brussel sprouts great again? Cut them in half, toss them in olive oil, roast with some pancetta and then sprinkle with sundried tomatoes and drizzle them in balsamic vinegar. Boom. It’s that simple.

But really. This recipe is a favorite simply because it’s so easy, so delicious, and so flavorful. Its salty, crunchy, tangy — everything I love in a dish. The sundried tomatoes add just a touch of sweetness, and the right balsamic can make all the difference. These pair well with just about anything; I’ve made it with marinated flank steak, roasted chicken breasts, pork chops… the list goes on.

This is a great dish that traverses all seasons; its hearty enough to be enjoyed during the cold, dark winter nights, and boldly acidic enough to satisfy the desire for a tangy summer side dish.

 

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Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
Time Required: Approx 35 minutes (10 minutes prep, 25 minutes cook time)
Skill Level: 🔪 (Easy)

1 lb brussel sprouts (approx 1/3 lb per person)
1/3 lb pancetta
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Prepare brussel sprouts! Wash, then cut the hard stems off the bottom and cut sprouts in half. Note: its ok if the outer layers peel off! Keep them to roast — they get super crunchy and delicious.
  3. Chop pancetta and set aside.
  4. Place sprouts in a large bowl and toss with olive oil. Spread over a baking sheet and salt and pepper. Add pancetta to baking sheet and roast for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, if using dry-pack sundried tomatoes, add olive oil and allow to soak while the sprouts cook. If using oil-packed tomatoes, disregard this step.
  6. Remove from oven and add sundried tomatoes. Roast for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven entirely and drizzle balsamic vinegar. Toss and serve immediately!

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