Brussels sprouts are incredibly versatile.
I feel like something of a kitchen-garden geek this Christmas, because, alongside my Brussels sprouts, I will be serving my latest discovery: flower sprouts—a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale—which will work perfectly in your Boxing Day bubble and squeak.
Turkey-and-sprout meatballs with sesame soba noodles and sticky cranberry sauce (serves 4)
2 rashers smoked bacon, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Half a red onion, finely diced
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
450g turkey mince
1 red chilli, finely diced
15ml olive oil
10 Brussels or flower sprouts (plus a few more for roasting)
200g soba noodles
10ml sesame oil
20g sesame seeds
100ml sweet chilli sauce
100ml cranberry sauce
15ml soy sauce
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, garlic, onion, parsley, turkey, chilli and olive oil. Slice the Brussels or flower sprouts (or a mix of the two) into thin ribbons before them adding to the bowl.
Mix it all together and roll into golf-ball-sized balls and place them on a foil-lined baking tray. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, turning gently halfway through.
In a bowl, add a splash of olive oil to the remaining Brussels and flower sprouts. Make sure they’re fully coated before adding them to the meatballs and cooking for 30 minutes. The flower sprouts will go crispy and add texture.
Cook the soba noodles in a pan of boiling water and drain off. Pour the sesame oil over them, add the sesame seeds and mix well.
In a small saucepan, add the chilli, cranberry and soy sauces and heat until just boiling and sticky. Serve the soba noodles with the meatballs and sprouts, drizzled with the sticky sauce.
Brussels sprouts with cranberries and garlic-crouton top
Heat olive oil in a large pan and add 450g Brussels sprouts and 150g fresh cranberries. Cook gently until the sprouts begin to fall apart and then, using the back of a fork, mash them completely. Season, then tip the mix into an ovenproof dish and pour in enough chicken stock to almost cover it. To make the topping, roughly cut a couple of white rolls into small cubes. Add 50g butter and 2 crushed cloves of garlic and mix together. Spoon it over the sprouts and place in a moderate oven until the top is browned. Serve immediately.
Bubble and squeak with quail’s eggs spiced with cumin
Fry an onion in a pan and add a finely sliced rasher of bacon, a crushed clove of garlic and the leftover Christmas sprouts, roughly separated into their leaves using the back of a fork. Add any other leftover vegetables you have and enough cold mashed potatoes to fill the pan. Squish it down to a smooth, chunky pie and then cook until browned on one side, before turning to brown the other. Cut into wedges and serve with a softly poached quail’s egg and a sprinkling
of toasted cumin seeds.
Core 750g Brussels sprouts so the leaves are all separated. Put them in a bowl and add a tablespoon of sea salt. Massage the leaves for 10 minutes until they release water and then pack them into a Kilner jar. Don’t close the lid instead, cover with fabric and seal with a rubber band. Leave the jar like this for about 3–4 days, then close the lid and store in your fridge.