When I first told him I was putting brussels sprouts on flatbread, Chris declared it a waste of a flatbread. Like many, he is clearly not a fan of brussels sprouts. But I figured if there was any way I could get him to like the often-despised vegetable, it would be by putting them on a thin crispy dough with lots of flavorful cheese and garlic. Oh, and pancetta. *Insert evil laugh here* Mission complete. Chris ate this brussels sprout and pancetta flatbread as leftovers the very next day.
Bottom line: If you’re trying to show a doubter the beauty of brussels sprouts, start here. Soon you’ll have them eating brussels sprouts out of the palm of your hand. Muhahaha.
Brussels Sprout and Pancetta Flatbread (serves about 4):
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- 1/4 recipe flatbread dough
- 10-15 brussels sprouts, stems cut off, halved, and cut into thirds
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 T olive oil, plue 1-2 T for brushing
- 1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
- 4-6 oz. mozzarella, cut into rounds
- 1 oz. parmesan cheese, shaved
(pre-heat oven to 500 degrees)
And really, this is one of those quick, simple recipes that yields some leftovers. Unless you plan to eat an entire pizza in one sitting. Which I have been known to do. At least with this one, you can justify it by knowing that you’re eating healthy green veggies. But still, there’s cheese. Lots of cheese. And pancetta. Moving on, then.
Start by cutting the stems off the brussels sprouts and then cutting the sprouts in half. From here, cut the halves in thirds. slice your garlic, too.
Heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat and throw brussels sprouts in the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes.
Add in garlic. Saute for 3 more minutes. I let my sprouts get quite dark, which I love (and figured they’d be more palatable). But next time, I probably won’t let them get quite as dark since they still need to bake on the pizza at 500 degrees.
Now, roll out your dough and place dough round on a foil-covered baking round.
Brush flatbread lightly with 1-2 T olive oil. I used my new favorite from California Olive Ranch. After Michelle sent me a bottle, I noticed it on sale at Stop and Shop and majorly stocked up. Good olive oil is something I’ll ALWAYS need.
Lay down mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on pancetta and top with brussels sprout and garlic mixture. Season with more pepper if you desire. You shouldn’t need any more salt since the pancetta and parmesan have enough.
Bake at 500 degree for 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden.
Place parmesan cheese shavings over the top. Yes, I suppose more cheese is totally unnecessary. But in my world, the words “cheese” and “unnecessary” do not belong in the same sentence, so it happened. And the parmesan really adds a fantastic kick to the flatbread.
Cut into slices and serve. And wait with bated breath to see how your dining companion reacts. At first I was nervous Chris would immediately reject the flatbread. But he gobbled it right up and told me he actually loved it. Yesss.
I’m not really giving myself too much credit though. I mean, pancetta was involved. A whole lot of it. And is it even possible to dislike something involving pancetta? Provided you’re not a vegetarian, of course.
Seriously though, I think the secret to getting people to give brussels sprouts a chance is to toss them in some good olive oil and brown them up or to roast them in the oven. It gets rid of a bit of that bitter taste and adds a nice smoky flavor. Of course, cheese, pancetta, and a crispy crust don’t hurt either. Trust me on this one.
How do you feel about brussels sprouts?