Pancetta and Pine Nut Brussels Sprouts
Used with permission from the new
Ontario Seasonal Cookbook
Alterations should be made to fit with your dietary needs. Please
consult with your medical team before you attempt to make this recipe.
Pancetta and Pine Nut Brussels Sprouts: Serves 6
2 lbs (1 kg) Brussels sprouts
splash of olive oil
5 oz (140 g) pancetta, diced
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat oven to 400˚ F (200˚ C)
- Slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
- Remove any loose, outer leaves and trimming the bottom stems.
- Toss in olive oil and add pancetta, salt and pepper.
- Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until pancetta is crispy.
- Stir occasionally, so the Brussels sprouts cook evenly. Toss with the pine nuts and another splash of olive oil, if desired.
Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) originally hail from the area around Afghanistan and they are, like cauliflower, actually a variety of cabbage. They were reputedly first cultivated in large quantities in Belgium, hence the name. Because they do well in cool climates, Brussels sprouts are perfectly suited to Ontario; they even improve in flavour, sweetness and tenderness if allowed to chill through a few frosts. They are often available at farmers’ markets, where they are often sold still attached to the stem. Brussels sprouts are most often over-cooked, which is a regrettable practice that releases the sprouts’ naturally occurring sulphur, giving them a pungent smell and taste. When properly cooked—especially if given an opportunity to “ripen” during a frost—this vegetable is sweet and nutty, and it provides many nutritional benefits, such as vitamins, folic acid and dietary fibre.
To toast pine nuts, place in a dry frying pan and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until lightly golden.
Pancetta is Italian bacon and is available at most delis and Italian markets.
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