Side Dish, Vegetables
Comments 17

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and the “Cash Only Line”

Roasted balsamic brussels sprouts

Roasted balsamic brussels sprouts

You gotta love the chemistry of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in just about any film they make (although Joe Versus the Volcano was kinda lame).  While watching You’ve Got Mail this weekend I found I really liked the quick wit and banter between the two of them (the script was written by Nora Ephron, need I say more?).  Sometimes it is just the way they say a line as in the  “Happy Thanksgiving Back” scene where Kathleen (Meg’s character) is in the “cash only line” in the supermarket – makes me smile – here’s the clip:

I’m confident that Kathleen was buying Brussels sprouts in that scene for Thanksgiving Dinner – maybe because I was flipping through my recipes and landed on Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts at that precise moment in the movie…at the cash register. Was this serendipity?  I’m sensing a strong compulsion towards bringing this dish to Thanksgiving  (Meg would approve, I am sure.)   While not everyone is a fan of the maligned Brussels sprout, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the complex full-bodied flavors of the pancetta (salty) and the balsamic vinegar (woody, sweet and sour tendencies), that both complement the nuttiness of the roasted sprouts.

Brussel Sprouts Stalk

Bought these at Trader Joes – never saw them sold on a stalk before – cute!

Brussels sprouts, cleaned, peeled, and cut in half

Dice pancetta, add olive oil to pan and fry the pancetta till crisp

Add olive oil to pan and sauté Brussels sprouts

Add the pancetta back in with the Brussels sprouts and sauté


40 Brussels spouts, cut in half
3″ thick slice of pancetta – cut into cubes
2 to 3 Tbl balsamic vinegar (I used Blackberry Ginger – see Method below)
Olive Oil
Pinch of salt
3 oz toasted pine nuts (optional)


  • Wash sprouts, tear off discolored or dead outer leaves, and cut in half.
  • Add olive oil to a frying pan and toss in the cubed pancetta – fry till crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towel.
  • More olive oil to the pan and saute the Brussels sprouts – add pinch of salt – add in the cooked pancetta  – toss for a few minutes so everything blends together.
  • Line a pan with foil and spread out the Brussel sprouts – drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them and toss till they are coated.

Transfer sprouts and pancetta to foil lined baking dish.

  • I would normally use a regular balsamic vinegar, but since I had a bottle of Blackberry Ginger balsamic vinegar that I got last year at Ojai Olive Oil……

  • I decided to use that.  It brought out a special tang different from unflavored balsamic vinegar – I really liked it, and will likely use it again.  But regular balsamic vinegar works just fine.

  • Roast the Brussels sprouts for about 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven – don’t overcook or the sprouts will be mushy.   Transfer to serving bowl, and add toasted pine nuts if desired.

Yield:  Serves 6-8 people

My sister Judy asked that I bring our traditional Broccoli Supreme dish to Thanksgiving but I am inclined to do a drop-by with a sampling of Brussels sprouts in hopes I can change her mind!

How do you weigh in on Brussels sprouts?  For or against them?

  POINT OF INTEREST:   In the US, we produce approximately 32,000 tons of Brussels sprouts each year (mostly in California and Washington), which is the equivalent weight of approximately 5,332 African Bull Elephants (average weight being 6 tons).  Sounds to me like someone out there is eating them!


  1. I absolutely adore Brussels sprouts – but then, anything in the Brassica (cabbage) family is terrific! I envy your blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar – what a great combination!

    • Thanks Gail. Yes, the blackberry ginger balsamic vinegar is amazing. I am finding if you boil it down to syrup level it sweetens up and even tastes great on Waffles – who knew?

  2. petit4chocolatier says

    You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies!! I absolutely love your recipe! And I bookmarked it to prepare : )

  3. This sounds good. I know br. spr. are healthy, but I’ve never found a recipe I liked. This is worth a try. And Meg Ran is so awesome in romantic comedies.

  4. Thanks for following my blog. I hope you enjoy looking through the recipes and actually try some of them out every now and then. Please let me know how they turn out.

  5. I love having brussel sprouts, but there were a couple of times they turned bitter on me! This look like a great recipe, and I was thinking how it would be if I substituted Turkey Bacon instead of the Pancetta!

  6. Where did you get that blackberry balsamic vinegar? These Brussels sprouts sound and look amazing. I will definitely try them. Such an easy recipe!

    • Susan,
      I found the blackberry balsamic vinegar in Ojai, CA – you can buy it online at Ojai Olive Oil Company. There is a link in the post. Recipe is very easy, and has such great flavor. Thank you for commenting!

  7. Just reread your post and see where you ordered the vinegar from. We have a gourmet olive oil and vinegar shop here I might go to and see if the have something similar, though $12 wasn’t expensive.

  8. Pingback: The Romancing The Bee Diet – Day 11 – Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pine Nuts And Garlic « Romancing the Bee

It's always good to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s