Brussels sprouts recipes: Best ways to cook this iconic Christmas side dish – Yahoo News
Prepared properly, sprouts can make for a delicious side dish to many meals (Getty Images)
I admit I wasn’t a fan when I was younger. I was part of the “clean your plate” generation and remember the challenge of finding a place to hide sprouts at Christmas dinner. Even my dog, who would normally eat anything, couldn’t be counted on to clean up a “dropped” sprout.
I think part of the problem was that sprouts were a bit of an afterthought. My Mum spent loads of time on the turkey, stuffing and gravy but the sprouts? Why bother. They were a vegetable tick box.
If you didn’t like them, who cared. You weren’t supposed to like them. It would be another 364 days before you had to eat another one, anyway. Besides, without sprouts, the plate was a sea of beige. They were kind of like a parsley garnish.
But now I love them. Not love as in I want to eat them everyday kind of love, mind you but still love. What I’ve come to realise is that sprouts are best when, a) you don’t cook them too long and, b) when you pair them with other ingredients to add different flavours and textures.
Best of all, you can prep Brussels sprouts early in the day and finish off the last bits very quickly. This is key when the turkey is growing cold and the gravy is congealing. I’ve done Brussels sprouts two ways here. I blanche them, then half get tossed with balsamic vinegar-soaked dried cherries and chopped hazelnuts while the other half are served with nduja (a spicy spreadable salumi from Italy) and pine nuts. It gives everyone a choice plus it makes you look like you’re Martha Stewart.
A note on ingredients. I’ve splurged on an apple balsamic vinegar from Liberty Fields in Dorset. It’s got a lovely, zesty apple flavour that goes really nicely with the sprouts, nuts and dried cherries. Well worth it but you could always use a standard balsamic or wine vinegar too. You can find nduja at some grocery stores, online and at many Italian delis.
Brussels sprouts served two ways
If you can find a whole stalk of sprouts do – you can include the lovely sprout tops in dish. This recipe is based on about 60-75g of sprouts per person which equals around 4-6 sprouts – plenty when served as one of several side dishes.