On the eleventh day of Christmas….we brought out the Brussels
A much maligned vegetable, the brussel sprout is another food we eat lots of at Christmas, but may forget about for the rest of the year. A member of the cruciferous family, like cabbage and broccoli, it’s a perfectly packaged healthy snack, providing many potential health benefits including supporting liver function (always useful when an extra glass of sherry might be going down with Christmas dinner) and digestion. When these little green wonders are fresh and in season (as they are just now) they can taste quite delightful as long as they are cooked well. Always try and pick brussels that are about the same size so they’ll cook in roughly the same time, and try steaming rather than boiling them – it might take a little longer but it’s easier to work out when they’re perfectly ready. And if you want to add a different flavour to your sprouts this year think about stirring in a little wholegrain mustard or chopped cooked bacon with a little crème fraiche. You can add a little cream to cooked brussel sprouts then bake them in the oven topped with crispy chopped pancetta and flaked almonds to add a bit of crunch. Treat them with a little culinary respect and while the humble brussel sprout may not become a favourite healthy snack, it may deliver an unexpected tasty treat for you.