“Without a sprout…”
One of my favourite little brassicas is swiftly coming to its seasonal end as we make the transition from the cold winter months to the milder spring air. Having said that, our unseasonably warm winter has had significant effects on the growing calendar this year.
The brussel hasn’t had it easy this year with a warm start to the season and high levels of rainfall. A crop that likes a harsh frost to get it started and well drained, dry soil, its had its work cut out since October.
Originating from Brussels, the sprout is used to a cold, harsh winter to develop a sweet, tender bud that offers significant levels of dietary fibre, folic acid and vitamin C, K and B. With a couple of cold snaps the latter end of our winter, the later crop has been significantly better, and somewhat extending the growing season this year.
Many may look upon this little cabbage with flared nostrils and putrid disgust! This sulphuric smelling vegetable has long had to endure the perils of grandmother’s cooking pot, boiled to an inch of its life until grey and mushy! Not only does this reap these super-greens of all their nutritional value, it is hardly surprising why so many of us have such a dislike towards these little fellas.
My favourite way to enjoy the humble sprout is to roast. Super simple, ridiculously delicious but somewhat unconventional, roasted sprouts are sweet and tender and simply irresistible! With sprouts having a strong connotation to the festive period they always remind me of my favourite boxing day meal – bubble and squeak! Mashed together with potato and other left-over veggies, thrown in a pan and fried until crispy this dish has real nostalgia for me!
With a little refinement, bubble and squeak is the ideal brunch, lunch or quick dinner recipe. Although my recipe may defeat the object of bubble and squeak being made from left-overs, this dish is more than worth the effort. Roast your veggies off the night before when you’re rustling up your dinner, and simply store in the fridge for the following morning. Heat some oil in a pan and fry until golden and crispy! I’ve topped mine with a decadent poached egg for that extra special brunch! Its also delicious with some sneaky avocado too!
In a bid to whack up the nutritional benefits of the this breakfast, I added turmeric to the roasted veggies. Turmeric not only brings warmth, fragrance and colour to the dish but is one of the best sources of anti-imflammatories to aid a whole plethora of ailments.
Try this brekkie, then tell me if you still don’t like sprouts!
- 200g new potatoes
- 200g brussel sprouts
- 400g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Rapeseed oil
- Salt & pepper
- 2 eggs
- 80 - 100g spinach
- Handful of parsley
- Avocado, optional
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas 6.
- Slice the new potatoes in half and place in a microwavable dish along with 2cm of water. Pop in the microwave for 3 - 4 minutes until the potatoes are partially cooked but still firm.
- Trim and halve the sprouts before placing in a baking tray along with the sweet potato. Drain and add the new potatoes to the same tray. Sprinkle over the turmeric, paprika and 2 tsp of oil. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper before turning all the ingredients with a spoon to ensure they are all fully coated. Roast for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are cooked through.
- Once roasted, set the sprouts and potato aside until needed (refrigerate in a sealed container if using the following day).
- When ready to make the bubble and squeak, heat a little oil a frying pan. Bash the potato a little to allow to crisp in the pan. Fry fro 5 - 6 minutes until warmed through and crispy. In the meantime poach the eggs.
- Once fried, remove from the heat and stir through the spinach, until wilted, and roughly chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve with the poached egg and sliced of avocado.