Are you fed up with mushy sprouts with your Christmas lunch?
Here’s a whistle-stop tour on how to cook Brussel sprouts and some great ideas for side dishes. If you’ve got any sprouts recipes of your own that you’d like to share, please feel free to comment! (I’m particularly looking for a Brussel sprouts soup recipe that I’ve heard rumours of!).
Sprouts Are Good For You…
Sorry! Packed with vitamin C, folic acid and more, sprouts (lightly cooked) are really nutritious. But overcooking destroys most of the vitamins…
Avoid Smelly Sprouts
Sprouts stink when you over cook them. They release sulphur, which is what overpowers whatever else is in your kitchen. So, to avoid the stench, steam them for 5-8 minutes – 10 minutes max for steaming. If they’re big, cut them in half, to reduce cooking time.
Avoid Mushy Sprouts
There are those who are rumoured to enjoy sprouts you can squash with a fork. I’m not one of them. The thought of a melt-in-your-mouth sprout does unpleasant things to my stomach… Leave your sprouts with a bit of crunch and your Christmas lunchers will be eternally grateful. The easiest way to do this is to make sure your sprouts are similar sizes – cut in half if necessary. No sprouts should need more than 8 minutes – any longer and you’re in dangerous territory!
Quick Sprout Guide
If your sprouts are on their sprout top, snap them off. (See this Sprout Top Recipes post for ideas of what to do with the remains). Peel off any yellow outer leaves and discard. Trim the stems, but only to remove any brown bits. If the sprouts are large, you can cut them in half to reduce cooking times. There’s no need to cut a cross shape in the base. Although this can make them cook faster, it also makes them harder to drain, leaving a watery mess on your plate.
Steam or plunge in boiling water for about 5 minutes. The colour changes when they’re cooked, so keep an eye on them and test one, to see if they’re ready. Drain and serve immediately. Toss in a little salted butter for a luxurious taste.
Other Brussel Sprout Recipe Ideas
You can stir fry sprouts. Prepare as above, cut in half and stir fry in sesame oil for 5 minutes, tossing regularly. Dress with a little soy sauce or tamari and some sesame seeds. You could also add a teaspoon of honey.
Brussel Sprouts With Almonds
Frying Brussel Sprouts with a little garlic and then dressing them with cream and almonds puts a whole new slant on the UK’s least favourite vegetable.
Brussel Sprouts With Nutmeg
A quick and simple variation.
Brussel Sprouts Salad
Fresh, young sprouts work well in this raw salad. The sweetness of Balsamic vinegar gives it a delicious twist and the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts give it a nutty crunch.
Let me know what you do with your Brussel Sprouts this Christmas!