We love Brussels Sprouts in our house, not the soggy, faded, smelly boiled veggie of childhood memory, but the oh so crispy, tender and almost sweet roasted version. So when we received the invitation from Kyle and Joel for a Gr8 Dinner and we were assigned Ina Garten's Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, I was thrilled. Thrilled because I love all of Ina Garten's recipes and happy to be making an update to a classic.
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When I roast Brussels Sprouts, I turn the oven to 400°F, trim the woody stem from the small heads, and tear off any discolored outer leaves. Then the orbs get tossed in a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and popped into the oven for about 20 minutes. What could be easier?
Ina's recipe calls for the addition to the roasting pan of some diced pancetta and a sprinkle of "syrupy balsamic vinegar" at the finish...can you say, "YUM"?!?! The pancetta releases a bit of fat and a whole lot of flavor and the balsamic adds just the right note to bring out the sweetness of this much maligned vegetable. And if your store carries the pancetta already diced, it doesn't add any extra work!
Ina's original recipe calls for a Tablespoon of "syrupy balsamic vinegar"; this is usually an aged balsamic and fairly pricey. If you haven't been gifted a small bottle of this lovely liquid, you can easily make your own using Martha Stewart's recipe. And for everything you'd ever want to know about balsamic vinegar, this is a Gr8 article.
Ina Garten's cookbooks are a Gr8 resource because her recipes are always elegant and delicious, but simple. I've never come across an ingredient that I wonder, "where am I going to find that?" And, she is always so calm on her shows. That is my goal, to remain calm and collected while putting a lovely dinner party together!
When you make these, be warned, people will want to eat them like French Fries, they are that good!
If you are making a holiday dinner, this Savory Wild Rice Salad is a welcome addition.
Ina Garten's Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 1 ½ pounds Brussels Sprouts
- 4 ounces pancetta,, in 1/4" dice
- 3 to 4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt,, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tablespoon aged or syrupy balsamic vinegar,, see Gr8 Note
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Trim the stem off the Brussels Sprouts and remove any discolored or damaged outer leaves. If the bulbs are medium to large, cut them in half lengthwise, if they are small, you can leave them whole. Make sure you keep any green leaves that fall when trimming, add these to the pan, they crisp up nicely.
- Put the Brussels Sprouts on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. I used a 12"x17" pan. Add the pancetta.
- Add the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and toss with your hands until all the veggies and meat are coated nicely. Start with 3 Tablespoons of oil and add the 4th if you think there isn't enough oil. Spread the Brussels Sprouts into a single layer.
- Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until the Brussels Sprouts are tender and the pancetta is crisp. Stir once during roasting.
- Put the Brussels Sprouts mixture into your serving bowl, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, and toss. Taste and add the additional 1/2 teaspoon salt if necessary to your taste.
Gr8 Note:Ina's original recipe calls for a Tablespoon of "syrupy balsamic vinegar"; this is usually an aged balsamic and fairly pricey. If you haven't been gifted a small bottle of this lovely liquid, you can easily make your own using Martha Stewart's recipe.
Gr8 Do Ahead Tip:The Brussels Sprouts can be trimmed and halved the day before. Place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.