The vegetable that divides the nation come December is finally back in season, and I’m sat firmly in the camp of people that are delighted. I’m fairly sure I despised sprouts as a child, as did most of us. These days, my fridge is never without a bag in the winter.
Those of us with a fondness for sprouts are often looking for new ways to prepare them so as to entice those of us who refuse to pile them onto their plate. I wanted to try and do something vegetarian this year, because in previous years I’ve relied solely on bacon to tempt sprout haters and I like a challenge.
Whether or not you succeed in convincing the sprout haters in your life that the little green things should be given another chance, I hope you’ll find something in this post that you haven’t tried before.
Sprouts with Goats Cheese and Dried Cranberries
This never used to be my style, but I’m finding this year that I’m more partial to sprouts that have been boiled half to death. These were in the pan (in very well salted water, which is extra important, this I learned from Samin Nosrat) for a good twelve to fourteen minutes. Then I simply served them with bitesize pieces of goats cheese and a scattering of dried cranberries and drizzled with a little bit of olive oil.
Creamy Shredded Sprouts
Shredding sprouts is something I only discovered a year or two ago. They’re wonderful stir fried, can be eaten raw in salads, but my favourite way to consume them is like this. I add some garlic to a frying pan and add the sprouts when it’s starting to brown, then cook for a few minutes. Then I add enough veg stock to just cover the sprouts, and simmer until the stock is reduced and the sprouts are cooked. Add a dollop of creme fraiche off the heat and stir through. Gorgeous.
Sprouts with Red Pesto
This is my new favourite. Roasting sprouts has always been my favourite way to cook them, but the addition of pesto has taken it up a notch. I cut sprouts in half and roast them in salt, pepper and olive oil for anywhere between thirty and forty minutes at Gas Mark 6. Then take them out of the oven and add a big dollop of red pesto and an equal dollop of creme fraiche.
If you’ve got any more vegetarian suggestions for extra special sprouts, do leave them in a comment – and if there are any traditional festive foods that you want to see vegetarianised, hit me up with those to! I’m currently trying to work out how I could recreate pigs in blankets for vegetarians without being burnt at the steak by bacon lovers.. impossible, probably.