Happy new year, everyone! I’m currently in Hong Kong visiting one of my best friends and overeating. On my return to London, my meals will mainly consist of salads and cooked vegetables.

And this includes sprouts. I love winter vegetables and I’ve heard that this season’s crop of Brussels sprouts is supposed to be a bumper one. I picked up a whole stalk of them for about a pound at my farmers market before Christmas and had been eating them constantly. Rather than my usual method of roasting them, this year I’ve been shredding and then stir frying the little globes.

This year seems to be all about slicing and dicing up sprouts: I encountered two recipes for them in the span of just a week. Jun Tanaka’s recipe mixed them with ham and pine nuts; Jamie Oliver’s was with bacon and lots of Worcester sauce. I preferred the former with its nutty pine nut bite, the latter being a bit too fruity to pair with other dishes, and here’s my take on it.

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts

Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts
recipe adapted from Jun Tanaka.

Take a large handful of pine nuts and toast them in a hot frying pan, tossing often. Set aside.

In the same frying pan over medium-low heat, add 2 tbsps of olive oil and throw in a whole smashed clove of garlic. Fry gently until the garlic is golden and then discard the clove. Toss in a handful of chopped pancetta and fry gently for a couple minutes. When the pancetta is cooked, turn up the heat and add a few large handfuls of sliced Brussels sprouts. Turn up the heat and stir fry for a couple minutes – if brown spots appear on the cabbage, then all the better! Add a little water and cover the pan and cook until the sprouts are as soft as you like. Uncover and let the water cook off.

Add salt and pepper to taste, mix in the pine nuts and serve.