We all know that the humble sprout is a Christmas favourite, but it doesn’t just have to be served with turkey and trimmings. Brussels sprouts can be a worthy accompaniment to dinner or Sunday roast any time, and they’re in season right through to the end of March.
Here’s my favourite sprout recipe, it’s easy to make and delicious.
900g/2lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 tsp sunflower oil
150g/5oz bacon lardons (or rindless back bacon, cut into short fat strips)
20g/¾oz flaked almonds
400ml/14fl oz double cream
2½ tsp lemon juice
5½ tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Place the sprouts into a saucepan of simmering salted water and cook for 4-5 minutes, until almost, but not quite, cooked. Drain thoroughly, allow to cool slightly, then cut in half.
Place the butter and oil into a wide frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and almonds and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned.
Add the sprouts and sauté for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil for 2-4 minutes, until the cream has reduced to a rich sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and spoon into an ovenproof gratin dish.
Mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the top of the sprout mixture.
Place into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is golden-brown and the cream visibly boiling.
Remove from the oven and serve in the gratin dish (when the dish has cooled slightly).