No Christmas dinner spread would be complete without everyone’s favourite vegetable, the humble Brussels sprouts.
I jest. Not everyone’s a fan of this mini-cabbage loaded with folate, vitamins C and K. Prepared by the clueless, sprouts will turn into soggy layers of leaves that squelch in your mouth which would stop even the most enthusiastic foodie in his tracks. Others complain about its bitter taste because of the high levels of glucosinolates located in the center of the sprout. Boiling them fast or simmering them slowly, the result will remain bitter. However, instead of keeping them whole, halve them and by boiling them in plenty of salted water, most of the bitterness would leach out.
Brussels sprouts can be baked, boiled, braised, sautéed, steamed and even deep fried. If you’re a cookbook aficionado, you would have noticed that it’s commonly paired with bacon, cheese, chestnuts and cream. If you want to go off the beaten track, the following ingredients would also work: almonds, mushrooms, mustard, nutmeg, sweet peppers, vinegar and walnuts.
This recipe was inspired by Carluccio’s take on brussels sprouts for Christmas.
For this meal I roasted a chicken which I roasted at a low temperature for hours while basting it with butter every now and then. Keeping the chicken company in the oven were slices of kabocha that came out super sweet and tender that complemented the savoury sprouts wonderfully.
If you noticed the quirky yet beautiful crockery and tea towel used in the photo, you can buy them at Rex London .
What is your favourite Christmas side dish and why?
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Pecan Nuts
Author: Michelle Minnaar
The perfect Christmas dinner should contain this brussels sprout side dish.
- 1kg (2lbs) brussels sprouts, peeled
- 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
- 150g (5oz) bacon, thinly sliced
- 150g (5 oz) blue cheese, crumbled
- 50g (2oz) pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- Peel the brussels and blanch in salted boiling water until tender.
- In a separate pan, melt the butter and fry the butter in it until cooked and golden.
- Add the sprouts to the bacon and toss around to coat all over.
- Place the vegetables in a large serving dish and scatter with blue cheese and nuts.
You can use any type of bacon in this dish. Pecans can be substituted for walnuts and any blue cheese will do. Instead of butter use chili oil.
Courses Side Dish
Serving Size 229.7g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 27.3 g
Saturated Fat 11.2 g
Cholesterol 51 mg
Sodium 547 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.8 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 15.1 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
P.S. This post was sponsored by Carluccio’s.