Brussels sprouts with spiced breadcrumbs
- December 2004
- Serves 4
- Ready in 30 minutes
Don’t let your brussels be boring this Christmas – try this variation on an Italian recipe – by adding a spicy breadcrumb mix to them.
- 8.5g (2.3g saturated)
- 18.6g (5.9g sugars)
- 1kg Brussels sprouts
- 4 slices stale white bread or 1/2 small ciabatta loaf
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tbsp capers, washed, drained and roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Wash the Brussels sprouts in salty water – this is a good way of getting rid of little bugs that can hide out in their tiny creases. Set aside to drain.
- Tear the bread into chunks and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until dry and crispy. Transfer to a food processor and pulse it into fairly rough crumbs, or rub it into crumbs with your hands. Set aside.
- Part of the reason why people are shy of sprouts is their widespread maltreatment. Boiling them to a mush and plonking them unceremoniously next to roast turkey does them no favours. The best way to cook sprouts is briefly. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to mark the hard, stalky ends with a cross; they cook just as well left whole. Bring a saucepan to a rolling boil and blanch the sprouts for no longer then 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
- In a wide-based frying pan, heat the butter and oil, then fry the garlic, chilli and capers until the garlic is golden brown. Quickly toss the sprouts in the pan. Season to your liking and scatter with the crumbs. Serve immediately. (For a real treat toss more butter through than is remotely necessary.)
It was not until the 19th century that these miniature, ornamental cabbages became part of the Christmas spread. They hail from Flanders in Belgium, where traditionally they were cooked with butter and stock (usually veal stock). This recipe, however, is based on the Italian treatment of Calabrese broccoli.
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