On numerous occasions I have been caught saying things like “I’ll eat it as long as it’s not green and leafy,” or “I would eat vegetables, but they just taste like dirt.” No joke. However, a few days ago I stumbled across this Food52 recipe for brussels sprouts. The picture convinced me that if I made it, I would not be left with with the deep regret that usually floods over me after taking a bite of a kale. And boy oh boy was I right.
Technically, I can’t behave like this is some big shocker. Cardboard would probably be a pretty decent side dish if tossed with oil, ham, cheese, and croutons… but that isn’t the point. The point is I ate something ~healthy~ and didn’t want to scrape my tongue off afterward.
Recipe Adapted from Food52
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 2 slices rustic country bread
- 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 2 fat clove garlic, smashed
- 2 sprigs thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- Heat the oven to 425° F. Trim and quarter the brussels sprouts (halve them if they’re small). Tear the bread into rough crumbs about 1/3 inch in diameter; you’ll need about 1/2 cup.
- In an ovenproof pan that will work for serving, fry the pancetta over low heat until crisp. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan, and over medium low heat soften the shallot, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and whole thyme sprigs and cook for another minute. Turn the heat up to medium and add the croutons, stirring to coat them in the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the croutons start to brown.
- Push everything to the sides of the pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the center of the pan, along with the sprouts. Cook for a minute or so, until they sizzle and start to brown. Stir everything together, adding salt and pepper to taste, then transfer the pan to the oven. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sprouts are just tender, about 15 minutes, and everything is crisp and burnished.
- Remove the thyme sprigs, shower the sprouts with the Parmesan (if using) and serve.