Brussels Sprouts Leaves with Mirepoix and Pancetta
Adapted from Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli with Alice Waters
Mirepoix refers to a mix of diced carrot, celery and onion. For convenience sake, look for packages of diced pancetta at Trader Joe's and some supermarkets; otherwise purchase sliced pancetta from a deli counter and dice it at home.
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot (about 3 ounces), diced
2 medium stalks celery (about 3 ounces), diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 ounces pancetta, diced
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
1. Working with one sprout at a time, trim the stem end, then remove as many of the outer leaves as you can until you reach those firmly attached to the core. Trim the stem end again, freeing more leaves until you reach the dense center. Slice the center thin.
2. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) and pancetta and cook until they have softened, about 5 to 8 minutes, without browning the vegetables. Add the water and the Brussels sprouts leaves and slices, sprinkle with the salt and stir well to combine. Cover the pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are tender. Season with a few grindings of black pepper, taste and add more salt if necessary to taste. Add a dash or three of vinegar and serve immediately.