November 27, 2009 | Vegetables
I used to hate brussel sprouts – and I mean I hated them up until just a few weeks ago. But in a warehouse in San Francisco I had the opportunity to participate in an Outstanding in the Field dinner for the Foodbuzz Festival attendees and they served wonderfully caramelized brussel sprouts with bacon. I was hooked.
So when I asked my good friend Susan what her family would prefer as the green vegetable on Thanksgiving, and she said brussel sprouts, I knew what I would make.
Fortunately, I found these wonderfully fresh brussel sprouts at Whole Foods, still on the stalk.
After cutting them all off, I trimmed them up (just a quick slice of the tough stem part and removing any loose outer leaves is all you need to do), slice them in half lengthwise and tossed them with some extra virgin olive oil.
The trick is to start them in a pan, cut side down, so that they can caramelize a bit before you put them into the oven to roast.
When they look like this, you’re good to go.
I spread them out on a baking sheet along with some diced pancetta that I had fried up until crispy and a sprinkling of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and roasted them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
My sister nearly groaned out loud at dinner last night when she saw this was the vegetable. But after the meal, she pronounced that the brussel sprouts were her favorite dish of the entire feast. Now that’s saying something, considering we had: Apple Cider and Sage Brined Heritage Turkey, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyere and Thyme, Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Butter-Pecan Topping, Mushroom, Apple and Sage Dressing, Cornbread and Sausage Dressing, Roasted Cranberry Sauce, Gravy, Rosemary Dinner Rolls, Cornbread with Cheddar Topping, Apple Tart with Whipped Cream, and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust. What do you do with your leftovers from Thanksgiving? I’m so over the food after cooking it, serving it, and eating it that I give it all away. I sent take home bags home with my friends’ family, my sister, my nephew, my daughter and my son. The only thing left this morning was that plate of roasted brussel sprouts. Guess what I had for lunch?