Day 254: Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Garlic ♥

Table Talk: "These are the BEST Brussels sprouts!"

No surprise, the recipe comes from StephenCooks who wields a magic culinary wand on fish to fowl and especially, to my taste, on vegetables. A Veggie Venture is frequently inspired by StephenCooks as seen here and here and for every-day, especially here.

But this one's a real winner.

The sprouts are halved and cored and twisted, then steamed and tossed in pancetta, garlic and basil with small splashes of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and hot sauce.

By design, I lightened the dish a tad and by accident, omitted the basil. Neither was missed but I suspect the basil would add a bright note.

This one IS a winner -- if Brussels sprouts are on your list, start here!

StephenCooks' version
Hands-on time: 25 minutes to trim (can be done ahead of time), then 10 minutes
Time to table: About 45 minutes
Serves 4

Water to steam
1 pound large Brussels sprouts (see ALANNA's TIPS)

2 ounces thin-sliced pancetta
1 tablespoon garlic (in my weeknight kitchen, from a jar; StephenCooks uses 2 cloves of minced garlic)
8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil (I omitted this, the fat from the pancetta seemed more than plenty)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (I wouldn't mind more, maybe even a tablespoon)
Salt to taste
Hot sauce to taste (I used maybe a drop of Tabasco)

Add water to a steamer and bring to a boil (see TIPS).

Trim the sprouts: Slice off the base and remove the outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise through the core, then make V-shaped cuts to remove the core. With your thumbs on the either side of the V, twist the sprout to open up the leaves a bit. (StephenCooks says this leaves the sprouts intact but creates more surface area for the good bits that are added later to attach to. I agree!)

Steam the sprouts for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the pancetta over MEDIUM fire in a small skillet until the edges have started to brown, breaking it into pieces with a spatula while it cooks (StephenCooks slices the pancetta beforehand). Add the garlic and cook for a minute. (StephenCooks removes the skillet from the heat and tosses the pancetta with the garlic off heat.)

Drain the water from the steamer and return the sprouts to the hot pan. Stir in the pancetta and garlic mixture, including the fat in the skillet. Add the basil, olive oil (if using) and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and hot sauce and toss well. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Toss again and serve and DO ENJOY!

With olive oil, Per Serving: 111 Cal (40% from Fat, 24% from Protein, 36% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NetCarb 7; 54 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 312 mg Sodium; 3 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points

Per Serving: 81 Cal (20% from Fat, 32% from Protein, 48% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; NetCarb 7; 54 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 312 mg Sodium; 3 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 point

  • Most times, I'd recommend tiny Brussels sprouts which come about 50 to the pound because they'll cook more quickly and are somewhat more tender. Tonight, however, I had large ones on hand, 17 in a pound, and was glad of it because there were fewer units to trim. I'd definitely recommend choosing large Brussels sprouts for this particular recipe.
  • Especially when having guests, I'll bring the water to boil ahead of time, then keep the fire on low until it's time to bring the water back to a boil and do the actual steaming.

(c) Copyright 2005 Kitchen Parade
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Great minds think alike!! Or course we already knew that. I had bookmarked this recipe too. For sure it sounded fantastic, and now you have confirmed it.


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