Talk about a bad reputation! If there is any single food which has been as unfairly labelled as the humble brussel sprout then I’m yet to hear about it. Quite the contrary, this green leafy jewel deserves all the accolades it can get!
Brussel sprouts are abundant in nutrients and vitamins across A, B, C and K groups and very low in saturated fats and cholesterol. To help retain their nutritional profile, serve brussel sprouts raw in a salad or slaw or lightly steamed, roasted or pan fried.
If you’re like me, you may have childhood memories of being dished up a plate of grossly overcooked and pale brussel sprouts, which is most likely why this stigma has been unfairly gained. For like many growing, working-class families, the advent in the 80’s of the deep freezer was a revelation, and my father literally froze everything imaginable! From a whole weeks supply of school sandwiches (for 6 kids) to dozens of chocolate coated bananas (yes we bought in bulk at the markets), the frozen variety brussel sprout was an obvious candidate.
These days however, we are fortunate to have access to great quality, fresh produce so there is little need to freeze. Unless of course freezing is your thing and I must confess to having a regular supply of broad beans tucked away in the deep freeze! So do go easy during the cooking process, thus sparing the misunderstood brussel sprout from any further angst!
Were your parents passionate supporters of the deep freeze? I would love to hear if anyone has quirky or thrifty recollections they’d be keen to share?
- One dozen fresh brussel sprouts, stalks trimmed and outer leaves removed
- Bulb of fennel, sliced
- Raw almonds or pine nuts
- Fresh kale, roughly chopped
- Several stalks of fresh parsley
- Balsamic vinegar
- Half a cup of cranberries or currents
- Olive oil
- Juice from one lemon
- Heat oven to 160 degrees
- Place brussel sprouts and fennel in a baking tray and drizzle over olive oil and allow to roast for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden
- Turn out into mixing bowl and add in herbs, almonds and vinegar and gently combine
- Turn out into serving bowl and decorate with cranberries, a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the juice from one lemon
- Season to taste wtih salt and pepper