Like any sane and right minded individual, since a young age a good portion of my Christmas lunch time has been dedicated to avoiding the terror of the Brussels Sprout. Tiny pockets of horrible the little green blighters stalk dinner tables up and down the land at this time of year. Leave just a tiny space on your plate and they mount a full assault, screaming their war cry, “Do you want any sprouts oh go on have one oops that was seven oh well they’re good for you!”
This situation is exacerbated considerably in my case. Living in a rural area has some great advantages, but it has its hazards to. In particular there is the danger of knowing a sprout farmer, which I indeed do. So for me not only is there the danger of copping a sprout grenade at a friend or relative’s house I’ve got two enormous stalks of green ghastliness sat in my pantry staring at me.
A little while ago though a good friend of mine took me aside and whispered in my ear. The trick”, he said, “is to cut them in half and roast them with butter and ginger – lovely!”
I didn’t have any butter but I did have some extra virgin olive oil and some ginger paste, so I put a good glug of oil on a baking tray and mixed in half a teaspoon of ginger paste. After taking the outer leaves off the sprouts I then halved them and put them cut-side-down on the baking tray, threw a pinch of salt over the top and chucked them in the (fan) oven at 180 Celsius for 10 minutes.
As promised they were indeed lovely – the outer leaves a little crispy and slightly sweet and the inner full of ginger-laden flavour.
Like many things the problem with sprouts is not the sprout itself, it’s the fact that many people have no idea how to cook them in a way that I like.