Like the moon, the popularity of certain vegetables waxes and wains. With restaurant chefs focused more and more on sustainability, eating seasonally, and doing their best to showcase farm or garden-to-table offerings, it was only a matter of time before miniature cabbages showed up on fine dining menus coast to coast.

Cultivated in Belgium in the late 16th century, the growing season for Brussels sprouts is long--August to March. For decades, their nutty and earthy flavor, best roasted and charred rather than boiled, was overshadowed by a villainous reputation as America's most hated vegetable. Have no fear, roasting is here to transform these bad boys into charming, well behaved dinner guests. Toss with an anchovy rich caesar dressing elevated with vincotto (a cooked wine made from unfermented grape must that is syrupy and know to Italians as grape molasses), griddled rye croutons, and some crispy pancetta bits, and watch this be the first plate of the Thanksgiving feast to disappear. We love using D'Artagnan Foods pancetta, a French style hand crafted Ventrèche made in the USA from  garlic seasoned pork belly that is so much more flavorful than bacon and the perfect crispy-salty addition to the sprouts and the hint of sweetness from the vincotto dressing.

cuisine American
difficulty Simple
season Fall & Winter
serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, small to medium size only, halved Olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 4 ounces pancetta, 1/4 inch dice 1 1/2 cups rye bread cubes, crust removed, 1/2 inch dice 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

For the Dressing

3/4 cup olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 small clove garlic 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 drops Worcestershire sauce 1 small lemon, juiced 3 tablespoons vincotto 1 medium egg

Directions

  1. Prepare the OFYR.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the prepared brussels sprouts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the sprouts directly on the OFYR ring. Roast, turning occasionally, until the sprouts are brown, charred in places, and caramelized.  
  4. Place the pancetta bits in a small cast-iron skillet and set them on the ring of the OFYR. Let sizzle and spatter until the pancetta is crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  5. In another small cast iron skillet, season the rye cubes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and place this skillet on the ring of the OFYR. Toast, turning occasionally until the bread is crisp and golden. Remove from heat.
  6. In a Vitamix or blender (or use an immersion blender), whir all of the dressing ingredients together except the olive oil. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil into the blender until it emulsifies. 
  7. Toss 1/4 of the dressing with the roasted Brussels sprouts and taste. Add more dressing as desired.
  8. Sprinkle with the pancetta bits and the croutons and gently toss.
  9. Finish with a generous shaving of Parmesan over the top of the sprouts. May be served hot or at room temperature.