Brussels takes centre stage

Couve-de-bruxelas. you either love them or you hate them. They have become a bit of an understudy these days,waiting in the wings while the other vegetables hog the spotlight but like it or not, this jaded family favourite is here to stay. A sprout is for life not just for Christmas. So whatcha gonna do ´bout it? Re-cast them alongside some upbeat flavours and ingredients, and they´ll take centre stage again. You can steam them, boil them,poach them, roast them or saute them. You can serve them whole, sliced,shredded or even raw. You can add so many things to them to make them interesting and each time you can try something new. You really can't go wrong.Pretty fab sprouts.
Here are my hot tips for Oscar winning Brussels.


Brussels Sprouts with chestnuts    (serves 8-10)

Best supporting dish

1 kg brussels sprouts (cleaned, trimmed and halved)


500g chestnuts


100g unsalted butter


50g toasted white breadcrumbs

Boil the sprouts in salted water for 10 minutes.(they should retain a little bite) Warm the chestnuts in a pan of hot stock or water.Drain. Melt the butter in a large pan, then toss through the sprouts and chestnuts until they are well coated. Season, then stir through the breadcrumbs and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Cranberries and Pecans    (serves 4)

Best ingredient combination in a supporting role

 2 slices bacon, pancetta or toucinho (cut into 1/2 inch slices)


1 shallot (diced)


500g brussels sprouts (cleaned, quartered, blanched and drained)

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

2 tablespoons pecans (chopped)

1. Cook the bacon in a pan and set aside reserving 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.
2. Add the shallots to the pan and cook in the bacon grease and saute until, tender about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan, season with salt and pepper, toss in the fat and saute for a minute.
3. Remove from heat and mix in the cranberries and pecans.

Brussels Sprouts braised with ginger and orange   (serves 6-8) 

Best new taste sensation

a little dried chilli can be added when you are cooking the garlic and ginger

30g butter

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

500g brussels sprouts washed and trimmed

juice and zest of 1 orange

1tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger,and fry gently for 3-4 minutes until pale golden. add the brussels sprouts and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat them in the melted butter. Add the orange juice, its zest and the red wine vinegar. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the sprouts are soft. Remove the sprouts, then reduce the sauce for about 3 minutes, or until syrupy. Pour the sauce over the sprouts and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Chourico and almonds    (serves 4) 

Perfect casting, my favourite for an oscar nomination 


750g brussels sprouts, trimmed

1 garlic clove, crushed


70g sliced chourico, cut into strips


olive oil 


3 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted till golden

  1. Steam the sprouts until just tender, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Fry the garlic and chorizo in 2 tbsp oil for a few minutes until crisp.
  3. Stir through the sprouts then put in a warm dish and sprinkle with the almonds.

    Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with toasted almonds and Pecorino 
    makes 6 side servings

    Best adaptation of a recipe

    750g( 1.5 lb) Brussels sprouts

    1 grated raw carrot (optional )

    1 cup flaked almonds (4 oz), lightly toasted 

    2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano 

    zest of one large orange

    1/4 cup olive oil

    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Holding each Brussels sprout by stem end, cut into very thin shavings.
    alternatively grate each sprout on a cheese grater or micro plane.
    Toss in a bowl to separate layers.Add carrot, if using.

    Lightly crush almonds with your hands and add to Brussels sprouts along with cheese, oil, and lemon juice, then toss to combine. Scatter the orange zest over the top. Season with a little salt and plentiful pepper.

    And don´t forget to bubble and squeak
    if you have left overs.

    Finally did you know how Brussels sprouts grow?
    It comes as a surprise to some.

    O cozinheiro likes this
    Heston Says: Try separating all the leaves from the sprouts and stir fry them adding whatever extras take your fancy.


  1. Coles de bruselas here in favourite..thanks for some great new ideas.

  2. must also do it with figs...


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