Monday, 8 November 2010

Is the Sprout just for Christmas?

The Sprout is not photogenic...
The humble Brussel Sprout doesn’t have the best of times does it? The chav cousin of the Brassica family is only welcome in some British households on one day a year. It’s such a shame as the plant is so plentiful and surprisingly versatile.

Personally I think they are amazing little veg, sweeter than cabbage. More robust than your Cauliflower or Broccoli and it’s a lot easier on the pocket than some of your Kales. Like most of the Brassica family it has an affinity with Pork and Bacon.

For me it’s simple; blanch your sprouts and slice them in half. Cook some Bacon or Sausages till the pan has those dark sticky bits that scream heart attack. Throw in the sprouts with some butter so they pick up all those delicious bits of flavour stuck to the pan. Then just serve with either mash or sautéed potatoes. Give me that meal and you’ll make me a happy man!

You can understand why people don’t often like the look of them; they can take quite a bit of preparation to get rid of the often blackened and damaged outer leaves. This can turn into a monster task when you want to feed more than handful of people.

They don’t like over cooking either, I’m sure all of us have known Christmas meals where we’ve been served slightly greying balls of mush. Secretly I’m pretty fond of them this way as well though this is probably where the fart myth comes from. Any family get together over lunch followed by a snooze is going to breed a situation where people are comfortable enough to break wind surely?

It’s over to you now; I want to know why you love them or hate them? What’s your favourite way to cook them as well? Come on people a sprout is for life not just for Christmas!


  1. Love them at Christmas, but don't tend to cook them the rest of the year (though might just have to try them cooked as described above - just smashing).

    I don't mind that nobody else likes them as I get to eat theirs. Though, I must say, that in my family almost everyone likes them. Damned food-obsessed bunch.

  2. I love sprouts; especially that slight bitterness they can have. I especially like cooking hem in bacon fat...

  3. Totally agree,with butter and bacon - a match made in heaven.

  4. I too love them and eat them all year round... they're great in Minestrone type soups and stews too!

  5. I've had some fantastic tweets sent my way:

    @harrywilkinson shaved raw on a mandolin with pecorino and lemon :)

    @LS6BeerFest cooked with bacon and garlic, finished with a splash of White wine. Mmmm sprouts!!

    @marcusbeanchef quick blanch, then pan fried in butter with panchetta and pine nuts! Mmmm

    @DeannaThomas I cut the sprouts in half & stir fried them with ginger, garlic, oyster sauce & sesame seeds the other night - delicious!

    @The_Z_Factor With BACON and WALNUTS!

  6. I don't ever see sprouts except at Christmas meals, not even in the shops. then again the vegetable aisle is not where I spend much time. They're also the only thing that there's always leftovers of - unless of course you smother them with chees sauce and bacon. Then again that defeats the object, you could gettaway serving almost anything covered in cheese sauce and bacon.