There’s an important distinction between liking Brussels sprouts and liking Brussels sprouts made with bacon. Adding pork is a game-changer.
Active time: 15 minutes
4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (or a 4-ounce package diced pancetta)
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved through the stem
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread bacon in a large, ovenproof skillet or 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Roast 5 minutes, just until it begins to give off its fat. Stir bacon, then add sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper (without stirring, so bacon stays on the bottom at first). Roast 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or until bacon is crisp and sprouts are tender and browned in spots.
To serve immediately: Add vinegar, stir to combine, and roast another 2 to 3 minutes, just until vinegar has evaporated.
If making ahead: Let Brussels sprouts cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. To reheat, add vinegar and roast in a preheated 450-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until sizzling.
Tip: If you’re serving bread with the meal, reheat it while the Brussels sprouts reheat or finish cooking.
On the day of the meal, assemble salad up to two hours ahead. Pour ½ cup vinaigrette into salad bowl. Add cherries, then pumpkin seeds and then greens. Just before serving, toss.