For generations, brussels sprouts have gotten an unwarranted bad wrap. If you were force-fed these teeny tiny cabbages as a child, and they came to the table all gray and mushy, odds are you’re still harboring ill will. When they’re prepared correctly though, brussels sprouts are crisp-tender and ready to take on flavors. Over the past few years, brussels sprouts have finally come into their own, appearing on restaurant menus all over the place. They’re often cooked with something porky, like the pancetta in this recipe. There’s a lot of textures going on in this dish – crunchy pine nuts, snappy cranberries, and crisp pancetta against the fork-tender vegetables. It’s pretty to look at, and it’s tasty to eat.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Cranberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 lb. brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add onion to pan and cook until wilted and translucent, about 5 minutes. In the meantime, cook brussels sprouts in salted boiling water until fork tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Add garlic to onions in saute pan and cook until golden. Pour in red wine and sugar and cook until reduced by half. Add brussels sprouts and cranberries. Cook until cranberries begin to burst. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with crispy pancetta and pine nuts to serve.