I didn't grow to love this vegetable until I was an adult. In my youth, these little baby cabbages had been regulated to being boiled, thrown into a bowl, then dotted with butter, salt and pepper. Nothing to get excited about. Brussels sprouts have been a star vegetable for a few years now, appearing on restaurant menus everywhere.
I cook these at home often. They're the perfect side dish and they make great leftovers the next day. The pancetta adds a salty, savory flavor to the dish. The balsamic reduction, well that just puts it over the top.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PANCETTA AND SHALLOTS
A delicious and easy vegetable side dish
- 1 pound Brussels Sprouts outer leaves and stems removed, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil divided
- ½ cup pancetta diced
- 1 ½ tablespoons shallot minced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
To prepare the balsamic vinegar reduction, heat balsamic vinegar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
The vinegar should be reduced by half and the consistency should be like syrup. You can check to see if it’s ready by using the back of a spoon. It shouldn’t be dripping off, but coating the spoon. Set aside and let cool.
To prepare Brussels sprouts, Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove Brussel sprouts and transfer to bowl with ice and water. Remove, drain, pat dry and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add pancetta and cook for 3 - 4 minutes. Add shallots to pan and saute until slightly browned. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and lightly coat Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar reduction. Reserve remaining reduction for serving.