Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Balsamic Vinegar

Brussels sprouts are an essential part of my Thanksgiving weekend menu because my mom and mother-in-law are here to gobble them up with me. 🙂 In this dish, they are sweetened- and darkened- with balsamic vinegar.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Amanda Hesser. I significantly reduced the amount of breadcrumb topping. It was a nice side dish to serve on Thanksgiving because it comes together quickly and requires minimal oven time.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs baby Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed (cut larger ones in two)(I used an entire stalk of sprouts)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces pancetta in small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 T minced shallots
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup veal stock or rich chicken broth, more if needed
  • 2 T chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs and thyme with 2T olive oil, and spread on a cookie sheet. Toast, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Heat butter and remaining 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy.
  4. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add diced pancetta, and sauté, tossing frequently, until sprouts are well browned and softened slightly, and pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Reduce heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  7. Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar and stock, and cook, tossing frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes; add more stock if needed.
  8. Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary.
  9. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs and chopped parsley on top.

Skillet Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic & Balsamic Vinegar

A friend had recommended this recipe and I knew I was going to save it for my Thanksgiving dinner menu. I always select Brussels sprouts as one of the vegetables to serve because my mom, mother-in-law, and I love them.

It was nice to have such a simple, and relatively healthy, side dish as part of the feast as well. One side dish should be void of cheese and/or cream! 😉 I also served roasted rainbow carrots. Two clean and fresh side dishes.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. I doubled the recipe, using an entire stalk, and was only able to roast half in the skillet; I roasted the remainder on a rimmed baking sheet. I also decreased the balsamic vinegar.

  • 1 Brussels sprout stalk (about a 2 pints or 2 pounds)
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to coat bottom of pan
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Trim Brussels sprouts off the stalk, and slice each large sprout in half top to bottom.
  3. Heat half of the oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan. Put in garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom, and transfer to oven.
  5. Roast, shaking pan every 5 minutes, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 10 to 20 minutes. Coat remaining sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in oven with the skillet.
  6. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Combine all roasted sprouts in the skillet.
  7. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and serve hot or warm.

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Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

This quick cooking side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other large holiday meal because it is prepared on the stove top when the oven is often too busy for another pan.

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Suzanne Goin. According to the Times, braised vegetables are a hallmark of Goin’s cuisine. It was described as a “marvelously flavorful dish, rich with garlic and salty pancetta.” A keeper! I completely agree. Simple and perfect.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Time: 30 minutes

  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread crumbs (I used prepared bread crumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds baby brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed (cut larger ones in two)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces pancetta in small dice (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots, more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup veal stock or rich chicken broth, more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs and thyme with 1/4 cup olive oil, and spread on a cookie sheet. Toast, tossing frequently, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. (I substituted prepared bread crumbs.)
  2. Heat butter and remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until foamy.
  3. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add diced pancetta, and sauté, tossing frequently, until sprouts are well browned and softened slightly, and pancetta is crisp, about 10 minutes more.
  5. Reduce heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  6. Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar and stock, and cook, tossing frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 10 minutes; add more stock if needed.
  7. Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and scatter bread crumbs on top. (We had bread crumbs on the side.)

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears and Pistachios

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Brussels sprouts on their stalks are completely irresistible to me. My husband isn’t a fan, so when my mom comes to visit I make them for us. This year my mother-in-law was here to gobble them up as well! This roasted version was a wonderful side dish- absolutely fabulous with the sweetness of the pears and the crunchiness of the nuts. This recipe was adapted from Bevi of Food 52, via A Pug in the Kitchen. This is definitely my new go-to brussels sprouts recipe. Delicious.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts (from 1 large stalk), halved lengthwise
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 Bosc pears, halved lengthwise and cored
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, chopped coarsely (I used salted)
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F (convection roast). Place the prepared brussels sprouts on two parchment-lined baking sheets and pour on the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix with clean hands. Place the pear halves, cut sides-down, on one of the baking sheets, making sure there is enough oil to coat their cut surfaces.
  2. Roast the brussels sprouts and pears for about 15 minutes. Then turn the brussels sprouts with a metal spatula so that both sides will get caramelized. Check the pear — it many not be caramelized at this point. Alternate the position of the pans and continue to roast another 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce the oven heat to 375° F. Add the pistachios and roast an additional 5 minutes to lightly toast them.
  4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Squeeze lemon juice directly over all the ingredients. Chop the pear halves. Toss everything thoroughly, check the seasoning, and serve on a platter or in a bowl.

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