Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

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Now, before you get all “ew brussel sprouts” on me, just give them a try! I know they aren’t for everyone, but if you’ve never had them roasted you need to try it! I know a number of people who don’t like brussels when they are steamed, but love them roasted. This recipe kicks it up a few notches and adds balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, and pancetta. Because brussels can taste a bit bitter, the balsamic cuts through the bitterness and really brings out all of it’s wonderful flavors.

If you’ve never had pancetta before, it’s a lot like bacon, but thicker and has a peppery taste. It also tends to have less fat. I decided to add goat cheese crumbles to subside the saltiness of the pancetta and add a creamy touch to the dish. If you don’t like goat cheese, feel free to substitute your favorite kind of cheese, or no cheese at all!

To get started, preheat your oven to 450°. Take your brussels and using a perry knife, cut the buds off of the ends. Then peel away a few of the outer leafy layers until there are no holes or broken leaves. I like to place mine in a colander when I am finished. Once you are finished, rinse the brussels with cold water. Shake to rid any excess water. Then, cut them horizontally in half.

Take a baking sheet and drizzle the bottom with olive oil. Place your cut brussels on the sheet. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and a little more olive oil and cracked pepper over top and take a spoon or spatula and toss them to evenly coat. Cut your pancetta into thick squares and place them on the sheet mixing them in with the brussels. Before placing your sheet in the oven, make sure your brussels are laying evenly and flat.

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Bake until brussels are slightly browned and crispy as pictured above, usually about 30 minutes. You want to take your baking sheet out every 10-15 minutes to mix up the brussels in order to evenly cook and brown all sides.

Once the brussels are roasted to your desired crispiness, place your roasted brussels and pancetta in a bowl and add your crumbled goat cheese, serve and devour!

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This dish will pair perfectly with some burgers off the grill or a nice steak. What I love most about roasted brussel sprouts are that they pair well with everything, even seafood! This recipe is good all by itself, so you be the judge!  You will never think the same about brussels once you give this a try!

What you’ll need:
1 bunch of brussel sprouts, buds cut, washed and cut lengthwise
6 thick slices of pancetta at your local deli counter, cut into square pieces
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Pepper
Goat cheese (I used garlic & herb), or your favorite cheese substitute

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