Brussels Sprouts 101

Friday, 23 December 2011

Brussels sprouts, one of those Christmas traditions that not everyone appreciates.  I’ve eaten my fair share of over cooked, sludgy green coloured sprouts that can also have a charming side effect which I’m sure I don’t need to explain here (you don’t want to be around my husband after he’s eaten too many).  Lately however I have come to appreciate the brussels sprout in a whole new light.  I’ve started to cook them in different ways and have discovered that they can actually taste good.  Who knew?  My current favourite way to cook brussels sprouts is to roast them as my recipe below shows but since sprouts seem to be so popular on food blogs at the moment I thought I would round up all the fantastic recipes I’ve seen as my Christmas present to you.  I’ve got your brussels sprout dilemmas covered.

I’ve been making this rice bowl for a few weeks now, its easy, healthy and is great for roasting up veggies loitering in the bottom of the fridge. More importantly its a great way to use up brussels sprouts.  Chuck in some turkey or chicken, some walnuts and cranberries and you have a lovely meal that uses all those Christmas flavours.  You can use any mix of roasted vegetables.  Carrots work really well too as does celeriac and beetroot.
Serves 2
50g (2oz) brown rice
50g (2oz) red camargue rice (wild rice would also work, or just more brown rice)
100g (4oz) brussels sprouts cut in half (I used a purple variety as I’m a sucker for a pretty looking vegetable but regular ones are good too)
100g (4oz) parsnip or 1 large parsnip peeled and diced
1 red onion cut in to wedges
50g (2oz) toasted walnuts
25g (1oz) dried cranberries
1 tbsp olive oil
Optional extras: bacon diced and fried, roast chicken or turkey, feta crumbled. I didn’t dress mine but if you want to try a dressing I think a little honey, olive oil and mustard would work well with these flavours.  Experiment and enjoy!
Preheat oven to gas mark 7 220°C
Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the parsnips for two minutes.  Drain and set aside.  In a roasting tray greased with olive oil add the parsnips, sprouts and red onion.  Roast in the oven until the vegetables are golden, approx 35 minutes.
Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil.  Rinse your rice thoroughly in a sieve then add to the boiling water.  Simmer for 35 minutes.  Once your rice is cooked drain and rinse.  Add the rice to the roasted vegetables and combine.  Add the walnuts and cranberries.  Serve in bowls with the toppings of your choice.  I used fried bacon and crumbled feta cheese.
Happy Christmas xx

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