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Did you love vegetables as a child or did the sight of anything green on your plate make you sick?

I could not stand vegetables. In fact, I didn’t like vegetables until I was 18 years old. When I finally gave them a chance I realized what I had been missing my whole life – especially the incredible number of sad, sad burgers without lettuce or tomatoes I had eaten!  Now that I know better, I am sure to give everything a try when we go out. The other night we went to the Federal Bar for dinner and noticed this beauty on the menu – balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts. As soon as I saw the words “goat” and “cheese” I knew I had to order them.

These babies were charred to perfection – just the right amount of grilledness (that’s a word now) to make them crispy and ridiculously flavorful. The amazing combination of goat cheese and that sharp balsamic taste put me into taste bud heaven.

I would have been happy if that alone was my meal (of course, I certainly didn’t mind the main course!). I knew I had to make these at home. These lil’ gems are the perfect side dish for any holiday, even if you have children who consistently turn their noses up at vegetables. And of course, they add a fantastic zest to any ol’ Tuesday dinner as well.

Watch out mashed potatoes, there’s a new standard in town!

Brussels

Ready to go in the oven…

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Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the core
  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/4-inch-diced
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan, including some of the loose leaves, which get crispy when they're roasted.
  2. Add the pancetta, olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, toss with your hands, and spread out in a single layer.
  3. Roast the Brussels sprouts for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're tender and nicely browned and the pancetta is cooked. Toss once during roasting.
  4. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic vinegar, and toss again. Taste for seasonings, and serve hot.

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

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