Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta & Hazelnuts


With Thanksgiving just a little over a month away, I have been working on creating some new vegetable side dishes that will work well with any protein you choose. I love Brussels sprouts and often include them into my holiday menu, despite that fact that they are not the vegetable of choice for my Son-in-law or grandson. I figure if I make sausage stuffing for Patrick, and lots of gravy for Gabe, then I have just about everyone covered. Brussels sprouts were not readily available here in Umbria until recent years, but now a variety of grocery stores sell them every fall. Maple syrup is also an item that just started to show up on grocery store shelves the past couple of years although I am sure it is sold more for the foreigners than for the Italians. I recently posted a photo of these tasty sprouts on Instagram and had a couple of folks telling me that this isn’t an Italian dish. Well, my answer to that is that I did not say that it was, and I didn’t realize that I was only supposed to share Italian recipes on my blog. Although I do keep an Italian kitchen, I do prepare recipes from time to time that aren’t Italian, and if they are good ones, I like to share them with my blog visitors as well. Whether this recipe is Italian, American, or Canadian, it is delicious and would be a delicious addition to any holiday table.

Roasting any vegetable is my favorite way to prepare them as it caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and really intensifies the flavor. These Brussels sprouts are tossed with olive oil, chopped pancetta, salt, and pepper, and are then roasted until they are tender. The sprouts are then tossed with some maple syrup and chopped skinned hazelnuts and are returned to the oven for a few minutes just until the maple syrup glaze sets. The final product is a platter or bowl of tender sprouts with the salty flavor of the pancetta, just a subtle accent of maple syrup, and the crunchy, earthy texture of the hazelnuts. When I make this side dish I often double the recipe so we can enjoy it for lunch the following day. I usually serve these sprouts warm from the oven, but I also like them at room temperature.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2018

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta & Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pounds Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Pancetta (Or Bacon)
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Skinned & Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking dish with aluminum foil.
  3. Trim the ends of the sprouts and cut in half.
  4. Place the sprouts on the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the oil, then toss with the pancetta, salt, and pepper.
  5. Bake until the sprouts are fork tender and the pancetta is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the maple syrups and sprinkle the hazelnuts on top.
  7. Continue to cook until caramelized, about another 10 minutes.
  8. Place in a bowl or platter and serve warm.