Brussels sprouts get updated in this Cobb salad-inspired take. [Photograph: Jennifer Olvera]

Although now trendy, brussels sprouts long had a bad rap. I blame that in part to the sweet preparations out there, or ones that don't take into account their bitter edge. To temper that, I've employed a lemon vinaigrette to give the bitterness someplace to "go."

By preparing them half flash-sautéed over high heat, half raw, they maintain some crunch. Served at room temperature stippled with pancetta (or bacon), blue cheese, and tomatoes, they barely recollect the Thanksgiving side dish of yore.

About the author: Jennifer Olvera is a veteran food and travel writer and author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Chicago." Follow her on Twitter @olverajennifer.

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