I love Brussels sprouts! I could make a full meal out of them and die a slow death of pleasure. I know … Brussels sprouts and pleasure don't go very well together for most people.
But for me it's a good thing that they do since I'm in need of all the vitamins they provide.
A simple Brussels sprouts sauté with olive oil and sea salt is fine with me, but when I came across the idea of Brussels sprouts with mustard, I thought it was a good match. It was Mario's idea first, but I riffed on it. His idea was to broil the Brussels sprouts after mixing them with the cooked pancetta, but I'm not a fan of dirtying more dishes than necessary. I'm sure he has someone who washes up after him so he can afford to use more dishes than I can! He also called for a couple of ingredients that I know my mom can't find in her little town so I wanted to make it accessible to everyone. I'm sure Mom is grateful.
I used pancetta because my market carries it, but you could substitute thick-sliced bacon as well. I think pepper bacon would be especially tasty. Please don't use turkey bacon. Bacon does not come from turkeys.
I like using mustard seeds because they give the occasional little crunch that I enjoy.
They don't really provide much taste, in my opinion, but mixing them with country mustard, lemon zest + juice, as well as olive oil, makes for a very tasty result.
I tried the recipe like Mario suggested (broiling the sprouts, using all the ingredients he suggested because I can find them all in my market) and I liked it that way …
… but I've made them a couple of times since and I've made changes to maximize my time and ingredients. I hope you'll get Mario's new book and try all his fabulous vegetable recipes. In the meantime, I've uploaded my own version of the Brussels Sprouts for you to try.
Let me know what you think!