Like fashion, music, and just about everything else, food has trends, and lately I’ve noticed an insane fascination with bacon and with Brussels sprouts.

Bacon is almost always a crowd pleaser, but some finicky adults require a bit convincing to eat of Brussels sprouts. I’ve always loved this little veggie (come on, they look like fun little baby cabbages! What’s not to love???) but for anyone else who needs a little enticing, I offer you a recipe that they won’t be able to turn down: Brussels Sprout with Pancetta and a Balsamic Glaze.

I’ve been playing around with Brussels sprouts for a while now (check out my Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe), and am impressed with how well these little guys adapt to different flavors. Want to throw in some blue cheese or shave some Parmesan over the top? Go for it: the Brussels sprouts flavor is so hearty that it is great with just about any strong cheese. In the mood for a nutty flavor? Roasted pecans or walnuts are also great additions to this dish. The possibilities are endless; best of all, this recipe is incredibly simple: my husband whipped it up while letting our rack of lamb sit before carving it. Enjoy!

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

2 oz. pancetta or bacon, diced into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs Brussels sprouts cut in half
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt/pepper

Directions:

1.Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a sautee pan over medium-low heat, add the pancetta and the olive oil. Cook until crispy (10 to 15 minutes).

2. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon. Pour the rendered fat on a baking sheet leaving just enough to coat the sheet. Add the Brussels sprouts, face down.

3. Let them cook for about 15 minutes, or until they are as crispy as you would like them to be (I like them a bit burned!).

4. While the sprouts are cooking, add the balsamic to the pan you used to cook the pancetta and cook down the balsamic until it has reduced to a syrup. (Use medium-high heat.)

5. Return the Brussels sprouts to the pan with the balsamic, add the bacon, and toss.

6. Top with freshly ground black pepper and salt, and enjoy!