Hey friends! This month I’m going to share with you my 3 favorite Holiday side dishes. These dishes I go back to year after year because they are so good and super easy to prepare.
My favorite Thanksgiving side dish is something that I REFUSED to touch as a kid. As a kid, I hated Brussels sprouts and there was NO WAY I would eat them, no way -no how…. I’m never going to put those things in mouth-not ever, not going to happen!
Then something changed. I think maybe my taste buds matured? (haha…probably not) Or maybe I lost a bet and had to pop one in my mouth (maybe more likely) Or…..I discovered a delicious way to make them….ummm, bacon, garlic and good olive oil (cervasi.please:)
The life changing moment when I discovered that a Brussel sprout was actually edible, was in Italy. In Italy, my sister ordered them and since I was in Italy, I had to try one. In Italy, I’ll try ANYTHING…. (ok…. not anything…. don’t go there.) I stabbed my fork in one and popped that green little thing into my mouth……OMG….my hatred for Brussels sprouts ENDED right then and there. Was it the charred bits of sprouts, the aromatic garlic, the bits or crunchy sea salt or the pancetta (aka Italian bacon)? I will never know (OK…. maybe I know but won’t tell) but all together it was so divine that I cannot even properly explain it….so let’s just move on!
Brussels Sprouts (yes it’s with a S…….Given my spelling acumen it’s kinda impressive that i know that don’t you think?) Anyway,,,the sprouts is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages and grown for its edible bud (who really cares about this-just a fun fact that I needed to share)
I CANNOT tell you how many haters I have converted (probably close to a million?!) with this recipe…. you will be a lover not a hater-I promise!
This recipe is one of my “effortless entertaining” favorites. It is a perfect recipe because you can prep the Brussel Sprouts a day or two beforehand, have them laid out in the fridge on a cookie sheet and just POP them in the oven while you carve the turkey (or drink wine)….boom….……tasty PERFECTION!
Add this to your Holiday feast and your family will love you even more. So that’s all folks……one of my favs! Tell me what you think!
Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half or quartered depending on size
3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (Cervasi recommended)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar glaze (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the hard ends of the Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half. If larger sprouts, cut them quarters.
Mix sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan (don’t crowd them, use 2 pans if making a double batch) and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. You should have some brown charred parts around the edges….I like mine reeeeeealy chared) Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt if desired ...I usually desire;).
You can now drizzle them with a balsamic glaze if you’d like and serve. The balsamic glaze adds a sweet touch to savory dish that just takes it over the top.
Sub bacon for pancetta as an option
This recipe can be made up to "tossing with olive oil" 2 days before. Keep the prepped ingredients in the refrigerator until ready to roast.
Add dried cranberries or nuts after the sprouts are roasted for a fun seasonal additional.
Leftovers are great in pasta or omelets.
Balsamic glaze is a balsamic vinegar that has been reduced to a thicker, fuller flavor. It’s great to drizzle over veggies, breads, even sweet dishes. You can buy it in the vinegar aisle or make it using regular vinegar.
Balsamic Glaze Recipe:
Mix balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Let cool and pour into a jar with a lid; store in refrigerator.