18 May 2011
So, tonight was the night ! Tonight was the night that I re-visited the brussel sprout for the first time in my adult life.
Like many others of my generation, I was served boiled brussel sprouts when I was a kid. This is, clearly, not the way to eat brussel sprouts. In fact, it should be completely BANNED - it can onnnly end in bitter disaster.
During dinner at Orto recently (new local), I enjoyed their side of brussel sprouts, carrot puree + other things. Without a hint of the acridity that I remembered of the brussel sprouts of my childhood, I really enjoyed the freshness of the vegetable + felt like this could be a new taste of autumn.
I thought I would share what I did with the sprouts tonight - it was simple, tasty + made for a quick (and v seasonal!) midweek meal.
If you're a market go-er, try and get the little green gems at the markets over the coming weeks - direct from the farmer, they are so fresh + have often been so delicately handled, they are a complete delight.
sprouts with parsnip mash
(this would, of course, also work with a buttery potato mash.)
Slice leek + soften in the pan with olive oil. Place halved brussel sprouts in pan, cut-side down. Place lid on and allow sprouts to soften. After a few minutes, take off lid and leave on low-med heat to allow to caramelise. Increase heat and add sliced smoked ham (or similar) and toss. After a minute or so, add pieces of (FRESH) walnuts + toss. Keep on heat for a few more minutes to allow flavours to mingle. Check for seasoning.
The mash is completely based on Maggie's mash that was in the first MasterChef masterclass.
Grate the parsnip + put in a pan with some butter + a little salt. Put on lid and cook on medium heat until soft. Add small amount of water, replace lid + continue to cook until parsnip starts to break down + is very soft. Check for seasoning + stir through small cubes of (beurre bosc!) pear.
Take out your (pre-warmed) favourite wintry comfort food bowl, add hot parsnip mash + a generous spoonful of the sprouts over the top.
Leeks should be verrry sweet, embracing all the other autumnal delights in a delicious celebration of the humble sprout ! Makes for cosy eating - enjoy.