Top recipes for better Brussels sprouts this Christmas

Rachael Anne Hill
Yahoo Lifestyle
14 December 2012

Brussels sprouts really are the king of superfoods, which makes the fact that so many of us don’t like them even more of a shame. And though every person in the UK will eat an average of 15 sprouts this Christmas, according to one survey, they’re the most hated vegetable in Britain. 

But we reckon trying out these delicious Brussels sprout recipes will change your mind on this nutritious seasonal vegetable forever…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Caraway Seeds by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall
Serves 4:
750g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
200g small shallots, peeled but left whole
3 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp caraway seeds
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Tip the sprouts into a bowl along with the shallots, olive oil and caraway seeds, and season generously with salt and pepper. Tip the lot into a roasting tin and roast for about 40 minutes, until the sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time, so that everything cooks evenly. Season the cooked sprouts with a little more salt and serve immediately.

[Related: Five ways to stay healthy over the Christmas season]

Smokey Bacon Sprouts with Garlic and Chilli Flakes
by Gordon Ramsey
Serves 4
400g sprouts, trimmed
100g smoked bacon lardons
1 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp chilli flakes

Cut the sprouts in half and blanch in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes then drain well. Fry the lardons until crisp. Lightly crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan with the sprouts. Sprinkle in the chilli flakes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes tossing occasionally. Transfer to a baking dish and finish in the oven at 220°C/gas mark 7 for a further 12-15 minutes.

[Related: Five healthier options for Christmas dinner]

Marsala Sprouts with Chestnuts, Pancetta and Parsley by Nigella Lawson

Chestnuts are another of nature’s ultimate super food so combining both together creates a dish so immune-boostingly (is that a word?) good, nothing will be able to bring you down.  Nigella’s original recipe uses a little more pancetta, oil and butter (no surprises there) but this reduced fat version still tastes divine.

Serves 4:
1lb Brussels sprouts
½ tbs vegetable oil
1 oz pancetta, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tbs butter
4 ozs vacuum-packed chestnuts
1 fluid oz Marsala wine
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

Slice the bottoms off each of the Brussels sprouts, cutting a cross onto the base as you go. Place the sprouts into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. Cook them for 5 minutes, or until they are tender but still retain a bit of bite.  Remove the pan from the heat and drain the excess water from the Brussels sprouts.  Heat the oil in a large clean saucepan. Add the pancetta cubes to the pan and cook until they are crisp and golden-brown in colour, but not cooked to the point of having dried out.

Add the butter and the chestnuts to the pancetta saucepan and with a wooden spoon or spatula, press down on them to break them up into pieces. Once the chestnuts have been warmed through, turn the heat up and add the Marsala to the pan. Cook until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.
Add the sprouts and half the parsley to the saucepan and mix well. Season the Brussels sprouts with freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, place the sprouts onto a warmed serving plate and sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley over the top.

Will you be having sprouts for Christmas? Share your best recipes with us on Twitter.

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