Rachel's PanceTaterSprouts


1/4lb pancetta or bacon, diced
Sprigs of Herbs (anything you would find in Herbes de Provence, especially thyme)
Olive oil
~16 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 medium to large sweet potatoes, chopped to one-inch chunks
Balsamic vinegar or balsamic reduction
Parmesan, grated


Preheat oven to 375
Put cast iron pan on medium heat (or around 4 on an electric range)
Since there isn't a ton of prep, I sometimes chop the sprouts and sweet potatoes while the pan preheats
When the pan is hot, add your pancetta and sprigs of thyme
Sautee until somewhat crispy, just a couple minutes
Add maybe two tablespoons of olive oil and continue to sautée until olive oil is hot - this should take less than a minute
Add vegetables and pepper and toss/stir around so that everything is coated in oil
Put the whole pan into the oven
Let cook for 20 minutes if the veggies are piled up, 15 minutes if in a single layer
Open oven and toss veggies so that different parts get crispy, and raise heat to 425
Cook an additional 10 minutes for piled up veggies, 5 minutes for a single layer
Remove from oven
Drizzle with balsamic and toss with parmesan

Heads up, this works great with pork (especially a chop or roast) and nicely with beef but tends to overwhelm fish or chicken. You can also crack a couple eggs on top towards the end of cooking and serve with cheddar instead of parmesan and balsamic. Then it's a one-pot meal.

-- Rachel Popham