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Mind your brassicas

They are the Marmite of veggies, the bane of bairns. And I love ’em.

Their growers have their own association (as you do) who are campaigning against boiling the little critters. Steam, stir-fry or microzap, they insist.

But I humbly suggest an easier way to max their flavour. Take a shallow dish, drizzle ’em with extra virgins, cover with foil and bake in the oven with the roast. Say 15 or 20 minutes – to taste. Crisp or not, you decide. And it’s true, sprouts improve with frost and don’t mention Brussels.

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  1. December 5, 2016 at 9:44 am

    I can eat them grilled, drizzled with a bit of extra virgin and sprinkled with pink salt from the Himalayas.

  2. December 5, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Does that salt make you high? 🏔

  3. Four-eyed English Genius
    December 5, 2016 at 10:38 am

    The only good sprout is a dead sprout. I absolutely hate the things, one of the very few items of foodstuff that I do. I find it very appropriate that they are named after Brussels! 🙂

  4. December 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Dreadful little spheres of ill smelling and worst tasting natural grapeshot, speak loudly (for days following ingestion) about abysmal British culinary habits. Thankfully hard to find in this land of plenty, ’nuff said.

  5. December 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    That’s 2 all then. Anybody else? 😎

  6. O Zangado
    December 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Love ’em.in a stir fry with chestnuts, pork tenderloin, onion and sage for a quick weekday dinner, or particularly in a dish of roast veggies to accompany a very large, red and runny piece of beef and a bowl of fluffy mashed potato on a dark, wet Sunday afternoon.

    Oh, drool!

    OZ

  7. christinaosborne
    December 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    Strange that not available in Maryland easily according to LW. Every where sells them here in WA. I grow my own but they do not do as well as in the UK. Have a problem getting large and tight enough. I agree about needing the frost, ditto parsnips.
    I generally steam them. Often the oven is full with other things!
    Himalayan salt? Ludicrous affectation!

    My winter veg garden still has for cutting and pulling, red cabbage, caulis, leeks, sprouts, celeriac, beets and parsnips. No call as yet to go veg shopping at a store! First frosts this week so must go and lift a few things and store them in the garage fridge. Onions and squash all lifted in Sept this year.

    Death to Brussels!

  8. christinaosborne
    December 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I expect the difference in the availability is down to ethnic origin of the population. Most here in WA are of British, German and Scandinavian heritage, all sprout eaters. Equally no-one here eats aubergines, tomatillos or terribly hot peppers except the hispanics. i am a rarity, both growing and eating eggplant, the big fat ones don’t make it, have to be the smaller thinner Japanese style, not hot enough for long enough in the summer for the others. I have to plant my seed under heat at the end of Jan, for eggplant and peppers to get a long enough growing season.and plant out good sized plants at the end of April. this all takes far too much co-ordination in the greenhouse for most people to achieve. Plus they will not heat their greenhouse, can’t understand why they bother to have them. One crop of bought in tomato plants a year and the bloody greenhouse costs thousands here!!! What a waste of money. Must be the dearest tomatoes EVER!!

  9. Four-eyed English Genius
    December 5, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    OZ: That all sounds very tasty, apart from the farters of course 🙂

  10. sheona
    December 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Sprouts braised in butter and cooked with chestnuts are good too.

  11. December 5, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    Now yer cookin on gas, Sheona! 🍷

  12. Boadicea
    December 5, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I’m with FEEG and LW here – quite the most revolting vegetable ever to disgrace a meal. The only time I might consider cooking the evil weed (boiling) is at Christmas if my daughter and Bearsy’s son happen to be visiting…

    … and that has happened only once since we got married.

  13. December 5, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    Technically, as I’m sure most Charioteers are aware, it’s all down to your TAS2R38 gene, If it works for you, you are able to taste phenylthiocarbamide – so sprouts taste ‘orrible. But if it is the inoperative mutation, you can’t taste PTC and sprouts taste super to you.

    What is less well known is that sproutophobics often develop late-onset softening of the brain due to PTC deprivation. Don’t they, Boadicea? 🙂

    I love sprouts however they’re cooked, so long as they are fresh and well cared for !!

  14. December 6, 2016 at 7:50 am

    I like them as I like feminine icons: fresh, firm and fragrant. 😏

  15. December 6, 2016 at 9:35 am

    One of our dogs would eat sprouts to a band playing. The current pack are not so keen. Myself..I quite like them, but wouldn’t cross the road.

  16. December 6, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Not chicken then! 😎

  17. christinaosborne
    December 6, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    having ascertained that Bearsy’s gene was not a wind up………
    I wonder if it is more prevalent in some ethnic groups than others?
    Who’d ‘er thunk it!

  18. December 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    And with your chef’s hat on, CO, how’s about sprouts?

  19. December 7, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Question for our Chief Boffin down under:

    Are there also genes associated with other taste-types?

  20. O Zangado
    December 7, 2016 at 8:29 am

    As an aside, I shall be offering for this season and beyond the suitably renamed British Sprouts.

    Just a thiught, like.

    OZ

  21. O Zangado
    December 7, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Bolleaux! …’thought’…

    OZ

  22. christinaosborne
    December 7, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    With chefs hat…….

    Sprouts are incredibly polarising, love em or hate em, nothing in between really.
    always used to send them out with several other veg so there was sufficient choice to pig out or dodge them!
    I always had a rule that anyone could have more spuds and veg on demand. But then I never had cheap places!

    Some sprouts are much tighter than others. The real bullets need boiling the only way you can get them cooked. The looser ones are better steamed as they lose their crunch immediately and go disgustingly flaccid. I presume it is down to a permutation of variety and growing climate. I’ve managed to produce both in my garden here over the years..

    Interestingly one always seem to come across huge sprouts in the USA, you can generally buy them either packaged or loose. When I need to buy I always stand and laboriously pick out all the small ones, hate them the size of cannon balls, they develop a very coarse flavour, but them I’m an unbelievably fussy cow!
    Do the same to chestnuts, they must be the exact correct shape. I hate all this prepacked stuff, always flog rotten ones in the packet a la Tesco!

  23. December 7, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Do try baking with extra virgins. It maintains crispness and flavour, bullets ‘n all.

  24. sheona
    December 7, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    I understand that the TAS2R38 also applies to broccoli. Perhaps George Bush -whichever one it was – had good reason for his dislike of that vegetable.

  25. Four-eyed English Genius
    December 8, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Sheona: Not sure about that. While it is not my favourite green vegetable, I quite like broccoli. I still loathe sprouts, though! 😦

  26. December 8, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Akshully the notorious Pythagoras advised against beans, but that was BB, Before Brussels.

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