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Author Notes: This is a recipe about balance between sweet, salty and savory, while maintaining the illusion of being healthy. It's brussel sprouts done just like my Franco-Italian heritage taught me. —Matthew Bounous
pound Brussel Sprouts--picked, trimmed & halved
ounces Guanciale--thinly sliced
cup Shallot or Yellow Onicon--finely diced
sprigs Thyme--bundled & tied
Garlic clove--Smashed with paper on.
pinches Kosher salt
pinches Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper/silpat/aluminum foil--basically, anything that will make cleanup easy. Peel a 1" wide by 2" long piece of rind from your lemon, then halve the lemon and reserve. Bundle your thyme. Dice your shallot/ onion. Peel, stem and halve the brussel sprouts and place into a heat-proof bowl. Now, your prep should be complete.
- Take the thinly sliced Guanciale and cube into 1/2" squares. Then, place into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Render the guanciale until it is crisp and those fatty bits are like cracklins'. Remove the bits of guanciale.
- Take your finely diced shallots, or onion, and place into the guanciale fat/oil over medium-low heat with the bundled time, lemon rind and. Allow to sweat/cook gently until the shallot/onions are translucent and lighlty browned around the edges. Remove from the heat. Everything can be done ahead up until this point.
- Pour the infused guanciale fat/oil with thyme, garlic, lemon and shallot/onion over the brussel sprouts. Season with kosher salt and pepper, then toss until the brussel sprouts are completely coated and slightly glistening.
- Scoop the brussel sprouts onto the prepared baking tray leaving behind excess oil. Like I said, we want this dish to at least appear somewhat healthy. And make sure that the sprouts are all cut-side down on the tray. Place into the pre-heated oven and set your timer for 15- to 20-minutes.
- Check your sprouts, they should be fork tender, slightly charred on top and golden brown on the bottom. If they are not, then turn on the broiler and keep a close eye on them!
- When the desired color has been reached, remove the sprouts from the oven and immediately spoon into a serving dish. Sprinkle the crispy guanciale on top and mix. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, a couple grinds of pepper and a pinch of kosher salt, or if you want to be indulgent, a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt. And you are ready to serve.