Do you like gummy candy? I love gummy candy. After black licorice (I know, we can debate that another time) it is my undisputed favorite. I remember as a kid first discovering gummy bears. Then, with awe, I was introduced to the gummy worm. You could hold it in your teeth and pull, stretching it before it tore and you swallowed down the sweet tail that was left between your lips.
Next was the gummy peach, the sour gummy watermelon, and the large, pale wedges of gummy grapefruit. There were gummy sharks, butterflies, cokebottles and fried eggs. I was, quite literally, the kid in the candy store.
Now, I have to admit that each of these, with the exception of a bit of artificial flavor and a difference in shape, are exactly the same thing – springy, chewy, sugary candy. However, despite this knowledge, I am never happier than when I am standing in front of a wall of bins filled with an unending variety of gummy candies, the choices stretching away in front of me and a large bag in my hand just waiting to be filled.
This recipe then, yet another pairing with the now ubiquitous roasted Brussels sprout, and there are a million of them out there, is not nothing. It is, like my gummy candies, one more wonderful way to enjoy a favorite. It is something deliciously new.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pecans
Roasting brings out the natural sugars in Brussels sprouts making them a rich treat. Pancetta is salt-cured Italian bacon that offers all the sweet flavor of pork without the smoke.
1/4 lb Pancetta cut in a small dice
2 tbs olive oil
4 cups Brussels sprouts trimmed, halved and any damaged leaves removed
¼ cup toasted, chopped pecans
Sherry or cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Warm oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add Pancetta and cook until crisp, rendering fat. Remove Pancetta to paper towels with a slotted spoon.
- Toss Brussels sprouts in the fat remaining in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until browned and tender but still firm.
- Toss Brussels sprouts with Pancetta and pecans. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar.