Hand drawn image of Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera

Tender organic Brussels sprouts, grown slowly for maximum flavour. Make this little star of the festive season sing by contrasting their slight bitterness with the sweet acidity of balsamic vinegar in a raw, shredded salad, or balancing it with cream in a rich, bubbling gratin.

Image of Brussels sprouts being produced

In the kitchen

Storage

They will keep well on their stalks for 2 or 3 weeks in a cool outdoor vegetable rack or fridge; away from the stalk, closer to a week.

Prep & Cooking tips

Nick the root tip away with a sharp knife and peel away any loose or discoloured outer leaves. Don’t cut a little cross in the base, just keep the little ones whole and split the bigger ones in half.

Treat them tenderly – steam, boil or roast until cooked but still with a bit of bite. Don’t overcook them; about 4 mins in the water or 8-10 in a hot oven should do. You can slice and add them straight to a pan for a stir-fry or hash, and with an assertive and acidic dressing they can even be eaten raw, if shredded finely enough.

Once cooked, toss with melted butter and plenty of black pepper, and perhaps a crunchy scattering of shredded bacon, toasted almond flakes or golden-fried breadcrumbs.

Sprouts are also good shredded and fried like cabbage. And roasting intensifies and caramelises their flavour gloriously – mix through a dash of lemon and balsamic or sherry vinegar just before serving.

Easy ideas

1. Shredded

Very finely shredded sprouts make a delicious raw salad. Dress well with olive oil and plenty of lemon juice and a few strips of salty cheese to finish. Or use shredded sprouts in a fast cooked stir-fry.

2. Roasted

Blanch halved sprouts in salted water briefly for a few minutes until half cooked. Throw into a roasting tin with some bacon lardons and chopped chestnuts. Roast on high for 15-20 mins until the bacon is cooked, the chestnuts are golden and the sprouts coloured and tender.

3. Braised

Fry some halved sprouts over a medum heat for 2-3 mins. Add a pinch of salt and tip in a glass of wine. Braise them, turning occasionally until the wine has evaporated, by which time the sprouts should be tender. Keep the sprouts on the heat and let them cook for a few more mins, until starting to catch and colour on the edges.

3. Gratin

Blanch briefly and cut into halves or quarters. Mix with double cream, one crushed garlic clove and some fresh thyme. Season well, pack into a gratin dish and top with parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake in a medium oven until golden and bubbling. A touch of horseradish works well in the cream if pairing with roast beef.

Goes well with

Acidic flavours (Lemon, Vinegar)
Anchovies
Cured pork
Dairy
Cheese (hard or blue)
Herbs
Nuts
Mustard
Onion
Spices (Pepper, Carraway, Chilli, Nutmeg, Mustard seeds)

Brussels sprouts recipes

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In the field

  • Meet the grower: Dan Gielty, Ormskirk, Lancashire

    Dan Gielty (known as ‘Organic Dan’) farms in West Lancashire - his organic Brussels sprouts are a much anticipated highlight of our Christmas veg boxes.

    Read more

Seasonality

Ready to pick between September and February, but at their best between November and January.
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