Both my wife and my kids absolutely loathe Brussel sprouts and so over the last few years at Christmas I have tried to come up with a recipe which can hopefully change their minds. This year I have already tried the brilliant Adam Seger recipe for Brussels and it has been the first time in years that both my wife and the kids ate it, and we will be serving it again on Christmas day. I have had varying levels of success with this over the years, and here are the ones which have done better than others, perhaps you can give them a try for your sprout hating friends or family.
Figs and Grapes
Adam’s recipe is nothing short of fantastic and it uses figs and red grapes to bring a real sweetness to combat the earthiness of the sprouts. What I also love about this is the simplicity of making the dish. All you need to do is cut up sprouts, figs and red grapes and then let them sit in olive oil as the oven preheats. Once the oven is ready roast the mixture and then when you pull it out, after about 35 minutes, drizzle balsamic vinegar over the top for a truly delicious veg option.
Sprouts and Pancetta
Bacon is a great way to take the depth of flavor out of the sprouts but personally I prefer the extra saltiness of pancetta, not to mention the fact that the fat which comes out of it is fabulous for coating and roasting up the sprouts. For an additional flavor punch you could put some walnuts into the mixture as well, which help to add some texture as well as flavor to the dish. If you are doing this then I would recommend that first you take the Brussels and par boil them before you fry them up with the pancetta, as they will soften more this way.
Sprouts in Blankets
If you are going to use some bacon then I would recommend that you do so with some strong blue cheese like Roquefort, which will then add some amazing flavors to your sprouts. Do this in the same way you would do pigs in blankets, whereby you place the boiled sprout on the table, add some cheese to the top and then wrap it up in the bacon. Once this is done you can simply roast them in the oven for 20 minutes and enjoy, delicious.
Chestnuts and Pomegranate
Another way in which you can get that sweetness to counteract the sprouts is to add chestnuts which have been roasted with the sprouts and then just as you serve add some crunchy and sweet pomegranate seeds to the mixture. This offers a tasty and interesting flavor which just may go down quite well.
These are the recipes which I have tried so far, and it has been the figs and grapes which have performed best as yet.