The truth of the matter is I don’t like brussel sprouts…at all. However, as an act of love and devotion I promised to make them for my husband who does like them….on one condition. If I was going to cook them I was determined to take these green devils as far from their cabbage-y roots as possible. Hence the pancetta, pear and walnuts. The addition of this triple threat (in combination with the fact that the sprouts came nowhere near a pot of boiling water) almost made me forget my antipathy towards this vegetable.
Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Pears and Walnuts
(or “6’s dressed up as 9’s)
- 1lb of brussel sprouts…it’s good to pick ones that are roughly the same size
- 1 tsp. butter
- glug of olive oil
- 1 pear
- 5 slices of pancetta…ask the deli counter person for a medium slice
- 1/2 c. walnuts
1) Wash your brussel sprouts and be sure to discard any outer leaves that seem to be loose or discoloured. Give them a good shake to get the moisture off…you want them to dry as thoroughly as possible. Trim the ends and then cut them in half.
2) Turn your oven to 300 degrees. Toss your walnuts on a baking sheet and pop them in for about 10 minutes…checking frequently to make sure you don’t burn them.
3) Slice your pancetta into thin strips. Add these to a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Saute for about 3 minutes and then set aside.
4) Wash your pear and slice it very thinly.
4) Turn your heat to medium high and add the butter and a glug of olive oil. When the butter has melted and started to foam a bit, add the brussel sprouts. The idea here is to allow the sprouts to brown nicely on the cut side…you are almost going for a caramelized approach here.
5) When you see your sprouts starting to brown, add your thinly sliced pear. Saute for another 5 minutes or so.
6) Return the pancetta to the pan and add the toasted walnuts. Give the pan a good stir to mix everything together.