I can't quite believe that I'm posting a a Brussels Sprouts recipe. I doubt I've ever eaten them at any time other than as part of a Christmas dinner. Even then its only because I feel obliged to do so. They are the Marmite of the vegetable world and seem to have more haters than lovers. There are jokes a plenty about mother in laws putting them on to boil in August so that they are ready for 25th December. However over the past few Christmases I have found a most palatable way of eating them. Sophie Grigsons Brussels sprouts gratin with bacon, cream and almonds. This year will be its forth appearance on my Christmas table. Its so good that last Christmas I pondered that it could perhaps be turned into a pasta dish so when the little green cabbages started making an appearance in the shops I bit the bullet. I've lightened the recipe up a bit by replacing the double cream with single and losing the butter. I've also made it vegetarian by removing the bacon lardons and adding fresh cranberries in its place for a further seasonal twist. Give it a go, you might be converted!
Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Pasta Bake
300g Pasta shapes
450g Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
50g fresh Cranberries
20g flaked Almonds
300ml Single Cream
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black Pepper
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 200c
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and return to the pan.
Meanwhile place the sprouts in a pan of salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half.
To the pan of cooked pasta add the halved sprouts, 25g of the grated Parmesan, cranberries, almonds, single cream and lemon juice. Warm through and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Remove from the heat and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout and pasta mixture.
Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the cream bubbling.
I'm going to be on BBC Radio Scotland's Kitchen Cafe at lunchtime today (Thursday 10th December) talking all things sprouts along with Chef Neil Forbes. I suspect we will have our fair share of both lovers and haters among the audience. However we'll also be taste testing one variety of sprout that will undoubtedly leave everyone asking for more. Chocolate Sprouts and Boozy Sprouts from Quirky Gift Library. I bet these won't get pushed around and left on the side of the plate.
I asked around my food blogging friends for their sprout recipes and got plenty of inspirational ideas.
First up, Easy Peasy Foodie gives us not one but seven ways to make sprouts interesting
Brussels Sprouts and Goat's Cheese Tart - Planet Veggie
Christmas Soup - Knead Whine
Caraway, Apple & Brussels Spout Slaw - Recipes from a Pantry
Sensational Sprouts - Munchies & Munchkins
Christmas Vegetarian Bake with a Brie Mash Topping - Emily's Recipes & Reviews
Maple Glazed Sprout Tops and Crispy Pork with Polenta - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans - Nadias Healthy Kitchen
Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Toasted Nuts - Rough Measures
Finally, if you're still not converted Butcher, Baker, Baby Blog shows us how to make a Brussels Sprout Wreath.