Hero Ingredient: Brussels Sprouts

Some of you may groan, while others will rejoice, the humble sprout has to be our seasonal superhero ingredient! Over the last couple of years sprouts have been getting a cooler reputation thanks to chefs giving them a makeover. No longer left to boil until the rest of the meal is ready now we’re encouraged to stir fry, roast and sautée the little beauties to crisp, crunchy, buttery perfection. So here’s a couple of ideas of how to make the most of a seasonal crop that’s in abundance and finally deserves to be celebrated.

Roast

Possibly the easiest way to shake up your sprouts – simply toss trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a herb of your choice. Place on a baking sheet and roast for around 30 minutes until the insides are tender. You could serve as a side dish or as the main event by crumbling some cooked bacon over the sprouts and topping with a poached egg.

Stir Fry

Think of it as fusion, using the Asian staple of a wok but Mediterranean ingredients to infuse flavour into your Brussels. Chop some cooking chorizo into small cubes and dry fry in a hot wok until the oil has been released and the cubes are turning crispy. Throw in thinly sliced sprouts and toss in the hot oil until the green leaves are turning crisp at the edges, finish with black pepper and serve. Great with chicken or a chunky white fish. Sautée Get some onions sautéing in a mixture of olive oil and butter until slightly caramelised. Add in some chopped garlic and continue to cook gently for another minute. Toss in Brussels sprouts that have been cut in half and cook for around 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t catch. Pour over some boiling water so that there’s a couple of cm in the bottom of the pan and add a knob of butter and pop the pan lid on so that they can steam for a couple of minutes. When the sprouts are tender remove the lid and reduce the liquid down until your greens are just coated. This makes a delicious side dish for a Sunday roast.

Photo credit: Seriouseats.com