Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

It's always an unexpected surprise when a side dish becomes the star of a meal. These brussels sprouts are just that. Honestly, I could make a meal of them alone because they're so utterly delicious. 

Roasted brussels sprouts have always been a favorite of mine, but I always end up wanting more of the crispy little leaves that fall off. Then I thought, why not just make a pan full of the leaves, so that it's nothing but crispy sprouts?! 

I added maple syrup for a hint of sweetness, and pancetta and freshly grated parmesan for the perfect punch of saltiness. 

I thought that adding the roasted sprouts to a simply cooked steak and smooth mashed potatoes would be perfect, and it certainly was. Alex was overjoyed to come home to this meal after a long night at the office. I also made my Warm Apple Pie that night, talk about a perfect meal!

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 4 Servings

1 lb brussels sprouts
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 slices pancetta, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan, finely grated

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, trim off the very end of each sprout, then pull the outer leaves off. You'll have to keep trimming further up the stem of the sprout to make pulling the leaves off easier. When all of the big green leaves have been pulled, you'll be left with the light green interior which you'll discard (see the photo below). 

On a baking sheet, toss the leaves with the maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper. Finally, sprinkle them with the chopped pancetta and toss the baking sheet into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the leaves are all golden brown. When they come out of the oven, sprinkle them with the grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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