Best ways to cook this iconic Christmas side dish

I confess that I was not a fan of the show when I was a kid. I was a part of the “clean your plate” generation and can remember the struggle of finding a suitable place to store sprouts during Christmas dinner. My dog, too, which typically eats whatever, could not be trusted to pick up after a “dropped” node.

I suspect that one of the reasons was that the sprouts were more like a bonus. My mother spent much time preparing things like turkey, stuffing, and gravy, but sprouts? Why bother? They were just a vegetable tick box.

If you didn’t enjoy them, why should you care? It wasn’t your intention to love them. It would be 364 days before you needed to eat a second one, regardless. Apart from that, without sprouts the plates were a sea of beige. They were a bit like an edible garnish of parsley.

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Now I’m in love with these. It’s not love in the sense that I want to eat them all the time sort of love nevertheless, I love them. What I’ve learned is that sprouts taste most effective when they are cooked in a way that) they aren’t cooked overly long and, additionally,) when you combine it with other foods for various flavors and texture.

Most importantly, you can prepare Brussels sprouts earlier in the morning and then finish the remaining pieces quickly. This is crucial in the event that the turkey is getting cool and gravy has started to congeal. I’ve cooked Brussels sprouts two ways in this recipe. I blanch them and then half are tossed with balsamic vinegar-soaked cherries and chopped hazelnuts, while the other half is consumed with the Nduja (a spiced spreadable salumi made from Italy) as well as pine nuts. It allows everyone to choose as well as making it look like you’re Martha Stewart.

A note on ingredients. I’ve bought an apple balsamic vinegar that I bought from Liberty Fields in Dorset. It’s a delicious fresh apple flavor which is great with the nuts, sprouts along with dried cherry. It’s worth the effort, but you can always substitute an ordinary balsamic vinegar or wine vinegar, too. It is available at certain grocery stores, online and in a variety of Italian Deli stores.

Without sprouts the Christmas dinner plate would look like a sea of beige

Brussels sprouts are served in two ways

If you can locate the whole stalk of sprouts, you can use the gorgeous sprouts tops in the dish. The recipe rests off about 60-75g of sprouts for each person, which is about 4 to 6 sprouts, which is plenty to serve in a variety of sides.

Serves up to 6-8 people 1 entire stalk Brussels sprouts and the tops of the sprouts, yielding approximately 500g of sprouts. 2TBSP olive oil to cook the sprouts with dried Cherries as well as Hazelnuts

40g dried cherries, 25g hazelnuts, toast and roughly chopped 1TBSP Balsamic vinegarSea salt

for the Sprouts with Nduja & Pine Nuts

50g of nduja, removed from the casing20g pine nut Toast them.Halve The Brussels sprouts and leave the small ones in the middle. Shred the Brussels sprouts tops (if you are using) to remove any tough outer leaves and taking out the difficult central rib. Clean and dry the Brussels sprouts in a salad spinner, then put aside.

Pour one or two tablespoons of extremely boiling water onto the fruits, allowing them to swell them up. Leave them for a couple of minutes. Take the water off then add balsamic vinegar, and stir until coated.

Large pan of water to a boil. Salt generously. Sprinkle on Brussels sprouts. Add Brussels sprouts (excluding the tops that are shredded) in a pot and let them cook till tender, around 4 minutes. Remove and refresh with cold water. Use a large saute pan and heat two teaspoons olive oil. Incorporate the sprouts’ tops, shredded (if you’re using) to cook about a couple of minutes till they start to turn a light brown. Include to the blanch Brussel sprouts to cook a further one or two minutes.

Pour half the mix in a bowl for serving. Add the hazelnuts and cherries and stir it all together with a pinch sea salt. In the pan, add the nduja, and mix it in with the other sprouts. Add the pine nuts. Once the nduja is melted on the sprouts, put them in another serving bowl.

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