Ok, I’ll be honest: before trialing these, the last time I had a sprout was probably in the eighties, at a Christmas dinner, when I was doubtless threatened that there’d be no dessert unless I forced one down. I hated sprouts when I child, and have maintained a lifelong dislike of them, despite never actually trying them again.
My tastebuds seem to have changed quite a bit as I’ve gotten older, and I do have a love for all things Christmassy, so I decided to be bold and volunteer to make the sprout dish for this years Christmas dinner. I gave it a test run, to avoid any violent reactions to sprouts on the great day itself. And actually – they are delicious! I feel like I’ve been missing out all these years. I followed Nigella’s recipe, cooking the sprouts then mixing them with warm, buttery chestnuts. A winning combination, and one that can convert even the hardiest of sprout-resistors.
From Nigella Christmas, serves 10-16
1.5kg Brussels sprouts
250g vacuum packed chestnuts
100g vegan margarine/spread
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.
2. Chop the stalk off the sprouts and peel away the outer leaves. Cook the sprouts in the boiling water for 5 minutes then drain.
3. Roughly chop the chestnuts into 2-3 pieces each.
4. Melt the spread (you can use the now-empty sprouts pan to save washing up), then toss in the chestnuts to warm them through.
5. Add the sprouts and mix everything together. Add fresh nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, ensure everything is well coated in butter, then turn out into a (preferably warm) serving dish.