December is in full swing. And that means a positive abundance of sprouts to enjoy!
Don’t just save them for Xmas day. Nutritious, hearty and flavoursome, sprouts are the perfect seasonal food to play with.
Let our tips and tempting recipes inspire you to enjoy this humble winter veg…
Did you know?
When choosing, opt for stalks! They’re not just for show – sprouts will actually stay fresher, plumper and more flavoursome for longer. You’ll really taste the difference!
Buying off the stalk? No problem!
Choose bright, firm and heavy sprouts – this indicates freshness and quality. (But our off-the-stalk sprouts are picked and delivered within a matter of hours – so this is always guaranteed!)
When it comes to flavour nuances? The smaller the sprout, the sweeter. Larger sprouts have a much more cabbage-like taste.
But – regardless of size – winter sprouts are the best! While available from early autumn, sprouts develop a sweeter flavour after the first frost. (And judging by this December, our Xmas sprouts are going to be positively delicious…)
3 Tempting Ways to Enjoy Sprouts This December
1. Nourishing Pomegranate-Sprouts Salad
Yes, you can – and positively must – eat sprouts raw for a delicate, fresh winter salad.
With an intensely flavoursome orange-tahini sauce, this salad is positively bursting with texture, flavour and wholesome winter goodness to keep those colds at bay!
For the salad:
1 bowlful of finely shredded washed and prepped brussels sprouts.
1 pomegranate, arils removed.
Parlsey to serve
Prep your pomegranate and brussels and combine in a salad bowl.
In a blender, place the sauce ingredients and blitz, adding water if necessary to create a thinner consistency (but not too thin and this will dilute flavour!)
Once blended, combine the two and serve with fresh parsley to garnish.
2. Comforting Creamy Brussels Gratin
This is just the recipe to enjoy after a blustering Sussex day in the ice and sleet.
Hearty winter veg and intensely flavoursome Sussex blue cheese make this the ultimate winter comfort dish.
500g Sussex waxy potatoes, cubed to sprout size
500g brussels sprouts, prepped and halved
200g Sussex blue cheese
150ml Sussex double cream
200ml Sussex creamy milk
50g ground almonds
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
A few springs of fresh thyme, stems removed
1 small clove crushed garlic
Parboil the potatoes for 6 minutes, throwing the sprouts in at the last minute to blanch.
Meanwhile, combine the cream, milk, almonds, seasonings and blue cheese (crumbled). Drain the potatoes and brussels and spread in a wide ovenproof dish. Cover with the sauce and combine evenly.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in the oven at 180c.
Once cooked to crisp, creamy perfection, serve and enjoy!
3. Warming Winter Stew
Mmm, the perfect hearty winter dish to feed friends and family, accompanied by Sussex wine, fresh crusty bread and creamy Sussex butter.
So, light the fire, set the table – and get cooking!
1 large red onion, diced
300g Sussex bacon
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 stalks of celery, sliced
500g brussels sprouts, prepped and quartered
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
A generous handful of fresh thyme, stems removed
A pinch of saffron
1/2 tbspn black pepper
1/2 tbspn cumin
2 bay leaves
2-3 cups fresh stock
1-2 cans of white beans, drained
A generous splash of Mesto olive oil
Cook the bacon until crispy, for at least 10 minutes. Set aside. Once cooled, slice ready to add to the stew.
In a large pan, heat the oil and sautee the onion, garlic and spices until the onion starts to soften. Add in the carrots and celery and continue to cook to tenderise the veg.
Add the brussels, bay leaf and stock and simmer until the brussels are tender (but not overcooked) and flavours well-combined.
Finally, add the beans and bacon. Serve garnished with parsley and enjoy with good company!
Image 1: Brussels sprouts by Niall Kennedy/Flickr (CC)
Image 2: Kale and brussels sprouts salad by Meg Schwartz/ Flickr (CC)
Image 3: Blue cheese by Susie Wyshak/Flickr (CC)
Image 4: Fresh thyme by Cookbookman17/ Flickr (CC)