It will be fantastic to have Brussels sprouts from our own garden to pick and eat on Christmas Day, but the trick to enjoying them is simple cooking.
Sufficient for 4-6 people.
500g medium-sized brussels sprouts
1 tsp salt
25-50g butter or extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the sprouts by removing the outer leaves. If you wish, you can cut a small cross in the base of the sprout. The debate on whether this makes any difference runs and runs, however if your sprouts are on the large side and very dense, you might find that it helps soften the core.
Add the salt and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil; add the sprouts, covering with a lid for one or two minutes until the water returns to a boil. Remove the lid and cook for three to five minutes, until the sprouts are cooked but still have a slight crunch. Larger sprouts might take a little longer.
Drain the sprouts well and if you are not serving immediately, refresh in cold or iced water to stop the cooking process and retain colour and crunch; you can simply reheat them later by dropping into boiling water for one minute.
To serve, add the butter or oil to the hot saucepan and heat; carefully return the sprouts, rolling them gently in the butter or oil, seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
Brussels Sprouts with Lardons
Follow the above recipe, adding gently sauteed bacon lardons or finely chopped streaky bacon to the butter or oil before adding the sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
Chestnuts can be added for texture and flavour. Use a pack of cooked and peeled chestnuts. Saute them first in the butter for three or four minutes before adding the sprouts.