As you might have noticed from last week’s Herb-Roasted Turkey with Gravy, I like to work ahead for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s no fun to sweat your brains out, stressing about how to fit five dishes into the oven while scrambling to pull together multiple side dishes.
To that end, enter Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pancetta and Cranberries. The beauty of this warm salad, other than its obvious deliciousness, is that you 1) pull apart the Brussels into a big pile of leaves the day before, so that 2) the leaves require just a quick pass over heat to wilt lightly before being whisked off to the serving board. Even die-hard sprouts haters love this dish with the tender-crisp-salty-sweet thing it has going on, which is particularly lovely alongside turkey. (It’s beautiful on a December table as well, so tuck the recipe in your stocking for another month and enjoy it two holidays in a row.)
Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pancetta and Cranberries
Photo by Stephanie Meyer
Stirring the Pot, Tyler Florence
Note: While cooking the dish takes only a few minutes, picking apart the sprouts takes some time, so do it a day ahead.
2 lbs. baby Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. best-quality, syrupy balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Stem, halve, and core each sprout and then pick all of them apart so you have one big pile of leaves. (Can be done one day ahead; cover and chill.)
In a large saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, until the fat renders and the pancetta is crispy.
Add the separated Brussels sprouts leaves, cranberries, shallots, and garlic.
Toss well to combine all the ingredients. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts leaves have just wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.