Thursday, 11 December 2014

For the love of sprouts

A bit of a bonus blog today! Not the ultimate flapjack, more the ultimate sprout...

I'm on a mission to convert all sprout-haters with this dish, which we've enjoyed (hugely) for lunch this week. It's so good, we had it twice!

1. Get over-excited in the vegetable aisle and grab a very large bag of Brussels sprouts. I had 750g here, and that fed two of us twice - serves four, indeed!

2. Make sure you have enough cold, cooked rice for however many you are feeding. I use brown basmati and use a handful dry per person. Add cold water to a thumbnail's depth, slap a lid on, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to steam, for at least 10 minutes. Either eat straight away or cool quickly and store in the fridge.

2. Gently cook a little tub of pancetta cubes in a large non-stick pan or wok until they release their own fat. When the fat is melted, add a small, chopped onion and soften it in the fat. If you are after a vegetarian option, you could cook a chopped red pepper with the onion, in a tablespoon or so of olive oil until they are lightly caramelised.

3. While the pancetta and onion are doing their thing (or before you start if you are hyper-organised) trim off the outer leaves then shred the sprouts really finely; I use a big, sharp knife to do this but I suppose you could use a food processor (a knife is slower but easier to clean!)

4. Add a teaspoon or so of frozen chopped red chilli, or a pinch of chilli flakes, or one small finely chopped red chilli to the pan, cook for a few minutes, then add the sprouts.

5. Turn up the heat and keep everything moving about so it cooks but doesn't burn. You can add a tablespoon of oil (olive oil or coconut) or a knob of butter if it looks a bit dry. Keep cooking until the sprouts are cooked, no longer squeaky raw, but not too charred.

6. Add the grated zest of half or a whole lemon (for two or four people, respectively) then add the rice and keep stirring and flipping until it is heated through.

7. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a twist of black pepper, then take off the heat and quickly stir through grated Parmesan - 15g for two people, 30g for four. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I defy anyone to hate sprouts after eating them this way. I can't abide soggy boiled sprouts, but I could eat them like this every day.


  1. They look great but I love love love them since I discovered microwave cooking them.(I used to tolerate but not enjoy) Peel, cross-cut, wash(but don't dry) four minutes in a covered dish on full power and voila. the most creamy and delicious sprouts ever.The best thing is the centres get lovely and soft .

  2. Bleurgh bleurgh bleurgh. Never eaten a sprout, never will. They look and smell disgusting! Send me to my room with no tea, make me sit on the naughty step for days, tell Santa not to bring me any presents - but you WON'T make me eat them!

  3. I LOVE sprouts and I'm definitely going to try this :-)

  4. Will certainly try this, I adore sprouts and they're my 4 year old grandson's favourite vegetable!

  5. Love the blog. looking forward to your workshops.

  6. I love sprouts, however they're cooked - one of the best things about Christmas! All the best for a great 2015.

  7. oh I'm hungry.....and I have no sprouts.... *falls to knees with arms in the air* "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy???" Ok. Feeling better for the melodrama! Time for a cuppa! xx


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