I know they are unloved by many but I just adore them and winter sees them at their peak. Like all members of the brassica family, sprouts are best cooked simply and quickly.
The simplest is to quickly sauté just steamed sprouts in mix of olive oil and browned butter - cooking only until they start to brown but if I'm after a little more flavour, then I'll make this.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Sage
fresh sage leaves
fresh sage leaves
Prepare the Brussels Sprouts:
If you can find them, baby brussels sprouts are great to use in this dish whole. If not, just try to select the smallest ones you can find - I find these are just naturally a bit sweeter and fresher tasting.
Slice the end of each and remove thick outer leaves before cutting in half. Place the halved sprouts into a steamer and steam for a couple of minutes, just enough to only slightly soften them.
Prepare the pancetta:
Pancetta is a cured, rolled pork belly but if you can't find it then you can use bacon. I buy the pancetta as a thick slice and then just cut that into appropriate sized lardons.
Assemble the dish:
Place a heavy, non-stick pan over a medium heat without any oil and when the pan has heated through, add in the pancetta. Sauté this, stirring frequently to brown the pancetta.
Sprinkle in a few fresh sage leaves and then add in a small knob of butter. Once this has melted, tip in the sprouts and continue to sauté until they have heated through and have started to colour.
Once they have coloured, taste and adjust for seasoning if desired. Depending on the pancetta used you may find they don't need any extra seasoning.
These are so tasty I could happily indulge in these alone and forget the main. If I'm after a true comfort hit, then serve these alongside some smooth and creamy mashed potatoes.