Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

mmmmmmm . . . Sprouts :-)

Hands up those who like Brussels Sprouts . . . anyone?

Me! Me!

I said that twice because both Cliff and I like Sprouts a lot!

Charlotte of 'The Great Big Vegetable Challenge' blog and cookbook, has put out a rallying call to all Brussels Sprouts lovers out there, so I thought I'd join in.

I don't grow Brussels Sprouts in my vegetable garden - I prefer to grow a selection of varieties of Kale that I'm unlikely to see for sale, around here Sprouts can be obtained fresh from the Fenland fields, for sale at markets and roadside stalls. And if you buy a whole Stick of Sprouts they'll stay fresh for ages in a cool shed or larder. I bought this one on Sunday from my favourite farm gate stall (or summer-house!) at 100 Histon Road, Cottenham near Cambridge. It's the Daddy of Veg Stalls, at this time of year it's packed with all kinds of winter vegetables everything £1/bag except Sprouts which are £2.50 a stick, and soon there will be Mistletoe too ;-)

So, for those who find plain boiled Brussels Sprouts a bit scary, here are some ideas which might change your mind . . .

Steamed Sprouts with cooked Sweet Chestnuts and a knob of butter is the classic combination to accompany Christmas Dinner. Add some crispy bacon too and it's almost a meal in itself. Left over cooked sprouts and potatoes can be fried the next day as 'Bubble and Squeak' - served with HP Sauce of course!

Sprouts aren't just for Christmas - our favourite is to add them to a Vegetable Curry. No, don't laugh!!! This is serious . . . the idea came from Cliff's favourite Indian restaurant in North London (it does still exist, but sadly not a patch on it's its glory days in the early 1990s). Find a recipe for a Vegetable Korma made with coconut milk or creamed coconut and include Sprouts with the other vegetables - delicious!

My Dad always put malt vinegar and white sauce on Sprouts (but then again he put vinegar and white sauce on all veg!). My Mum remembers a school cookery lesson in which 'the girls' were taught to make a salad of raw shredded sprouts with Heinz Salad Cream dressing (it was during WWII and she opted to do geometry and algebra instead of cookery, shortly afterwards!) I admit that I didn't like Sprouts much when I was young - but I gave them a second chance, now I love them.

Super nutritious and seasonal, hurrah for Sprouts!


  1. I love sprouts in pretty much any shape or form, except for overcooked grey ones - ick!

  2. Bubble and Squeak with left over sprouts has to be one of my favourite meals... especially with a fried egg on top!

  3. Hi Dottycookie - you're right, never ever overcook a Sprout!

    Hi Gina - my favourite too! I'll have to try Bubble and Squeak with a fried egg, sounds delicious.


  4. Just a thimbleful...

    We are sprout lovers too, in fact, there is nothing we don't eat (witchety grubs & other Down Under delicacies aside) so I guess we are perfect guests !

  5. Here's another sprout fan raising her hand.

    After cooking them just a bit, I add them to shallots sauted in a bit of butter, add a bit of pepper and nutmeg...and a spoonful of creme fraiche. Yummy!

    Here in the States, I have actually never made bubble and squeak. This could be the year!


  6. Go to this blog for an absolutely divine recipe for roasted brussels sprounts with lemon and parmesan...just to die for!!! I could live on this alone.


  7. oven roasted with olive oil, salt, & pepper! oh yum! plus, they are my fave. veg to see growing. they just look so cool on those little sticks :)

  8. Hate to admit it here but I'm not really a sprout lover. I do like them thinly sliced and stir-fried with sliced shallots and slivered almonds though.

  9. I do like sprouts - now. As a child I would rebel hugely about eating the token sprout on my plate, and was very put out when I discovered, relatively recently, that my mother has never liked them! I now take great delight in making sure she gets her token sprout, AND eats it!

  10. I have never liked sprouts and my father always told me I would grow out of it. Now reading some of these ideas is making wonder if I should have another go - I suspect he thought it would happen rather sooner than this!

  11. I adore sprouts
    I had a recipe for braised sprouts that I have lost. I made it several times and recall that it had white wine, whole grain mustard, lemon zest in it & sprouts in it. It might be time to search for it again.

  12. I love sprout and have even managed to convert my 7yo over to the sproutside. The 4yo isn't having it though...
    We've been picking ours on the allotment for a bout a month now. Yummy!

  13. We love sprouts in our house too, especially with crispy bacon, garlic and leeks - the curry dish sounds very interesting too!

    Jeanne x

  14. Stir fry them with almonds


  15. My daughter-in-law puts vinegar on sprouts and says all her family do. I'd never heard of that being done before.

    I love sprouts too. If you have pigeons in the garden, don't leave a stalk of them where they can be pecked (I speak from experience).

  16. blaahhh!! Maybe your home grown ones would be nice, and since you seem to be an excellent cook you probably know how to do them justice, but I'm not a fan of the sprout. Growing up with a single parent who worked night shifts and knew how to operate a Crock Pot (slow cooker) I can't get past the gray, sour, little vomit balls of my childhood. As an adult I eat them when I must but it's not something I relish. Those memories are etched too deep I'm afraid!

  17. Looks as though there are lots of lovely Sprout loving bloggers out there :-)

    Hi Mavis - I expect you may like witchety grubs!

    Hi Frances - nutmeg sounds a perfect addition, I'll try that, thank you! And please intoduce your New York friends to Bubble and Squeak.

    Hi Irishlassie - parmesan and lemon is a lovely way to take Sprouts on a Mediterranean holiday!

    Hi Petoskystone - roast Sprouts - excellent!

    Hi Veg Heaven - your dipping your toe in gingerly I see! Yes thinly sliced and stir fried transforms them - a good way for the suspicious!!

    Hi Penny - my Mum too admits to not being a Sprout lover - but the school cookery experience may have a lot to do with it!!!

    Hi Elizabethm - please try one of the lovely suggestions, maybe a stir fry for starters?

    Hi Rhiannon - Hurray, another Sprout fan! That recipe sounds very special indeed!

    Hi Allot of Veg - well done for growing your own!

    Hi Jeanne - another lovely suggestion! Bacon and Leeks with Sprouts - mmmmmmm!

    Hi there Pickle and Preserve - another stir fry and more almonds. I think this is the one for those who have avoided Sprouts before!

    Hi Z - there you go, your daughter-in-law's family aren't alone! I wonder where the vinegar thing comes from - I must investigate further.

    Hi Jacqui - Oh dear! a dissenter :-( Try some shredded sprouts stir fried with lemon and almonds, or with pepper, nutmeg and cream - I think we can convert you...

    Whew! What a great response!
    Let's hope we inspire more Sprout-sceptics to try again and to let Sprouts back into their lives ;-)

  18. As always an excellent posting.The
    way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.



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