Growing up, we never ate brussels sprouts at home. Not because we didn’t like them, but simply because they were never on the dinner table. And as an adult, I’ve grown to love brussels sprouts SO MUCH that they rotate through our weekly meal plans on a regular basis. One of my favorite ways to serve them as a side dish is shaved with crispy pancetta or bacon and sauteed shallots. So today, I thought I’d share this tried and true recipe from my kitchen to yours.
This is really an easy, fool-proof recipe. And to be honest, that’s how I like to cook. While I love baked goods (duh) I prefer cooking savory dishes over baking — mostly because of the room for error and correction. Being precise and following a recipe is doable but experimenting in the kitchen is really more up my alley.
– 1-2 lbs of brussels sprouts (trimmed, washed)
– 1 package of thick cut bacon or diced pancetta
– 4-5 medium-sized shallots
– Extra virgin olive oil
– White wine vinegar
– Salt and pepper
Using a food processor, knife or mandolin (I prefer a chef’s knife), shave your brussels sprouts. When I say “shave” there really isn’t a science to it — so don’t worry about what it looks like! You just want fine pieces of brussels sprouts. They will wilt down anyway, and shaving them ahead of time will cut your cook time down significantly. Chop your shallots as well. I prefer mine in nice thin rings but again, doesn’t have to be exact.
In a saucepan or frying pan (I use my Le Creuset dutch oven), brown your bacon or diced pancetta. If you are using bacon, dice it in advance of cooking. Remove from the heat once they are crispy. Using the same pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of EVOO on medium to high heat (if you cooked bacon, just use the fat in the pan instead of adding EVOO) and toss in your shallots. Once they begin to brown, turn your heat down to medium, add your shaved brussels sprouts along with 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar.
The brussels sprouts will begin to wilt down quickly, so continue stirring often, combining with the shallots. Here’s the fun part… Taste as you go! Add salt and pepper, taste. If you like more of a tang, add more white wine vinegar! Taste again. Toss in your crispy bacon or pancetta and combine until the dish is very aromatic and the shavings of brussels sprouts are completely wilted.
Spoon everything into a nice dish and serve. Or if you’re like me, just eat it straight of the pan so nobody else gets any!
* This recipe yields 4 large servings.