Brussels sprouts often get a bad name, but Gizzi Erskine, author of Season’s Eatings, is determined to put the quintessential Christmas veg back in the good books. Which is particularly handy seeing as they are at their best over the winter months. Here are three of Gizzi’s suggestions.
“Brussels sprouts are so delicious eaten raw, having spent a bit of time macerating in a dressing. The dressing breaks them down and takes away the cabbageyness and they’re rounded off into a superb salad leaf. I’ve created three different and very easy salads that really make the most of these vegetables, and are a refreshing breath of fresh air in a season of richness, when you’re craving crunch. Salad one, with Parmesan, lemon and roasted almonds, is simplicity personified. Salad two, with pomegranate, pistachio, herbs and sumac, takes a Middle Eastern twist. Finally, salad three is a classic Waldorf but using sprouts as the leaf. They can all be eaten on their own, or with a main course. Shred your sprouts and eat them raw. You won’t look back.
Your sprouts need to be very thinly sliced. You can either do this by hand using a knife, or whizz them through the shredder/ slicer attachment of your food processor.”
Shredded sprout salad with parmesan, lemon and roasted almonds
Place 300g (10 ½ oz) shredded sprouts in a serving bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 6 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning.
Leave the sprouts to macerate for 15 minutes, then top with 30g (1oz) finely grated Parmesan and 100g (3 ½ oz) roasted Marcona almonds, and serve.
Shredded sprout salad with pomegranate, pistachio, herbs and sumac
Place 300g (10 ½ oz) shredded sprouts in a serving bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, 6 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning.
Leave the sprouts to macerate for 15 minutes, then sprinkle over the seeds of 1 pomegranate, 100g (3 ½ oz) chopped pistachios, 1 tablespoon chopped dill, 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves and 1 teaspoon sumac, and serve.
Shredded sprout Waldorf salad
In a serving bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, 3 tablespoons natural yoghurt, 3 tablespoons olive oil and plenty of seasoning.
Add 300g (10 ½ oz) shredded sprouts to the bowl.
Leave to macerate for 15 minutes, then add 100g (3 ½ oz) halved seedless grapes, 1 sliced eating apple, 60g (2 ¼ oz) walnut halves and a few freshly chopped tarragon sprigs, and serve.
Gizzi’s Season’s Eatings: Feasts & Celebrations from Halloween to Happy New Year by Gizzi Erskine, published by Mitchell Beazley, £25, www.octopusbooks.co.uk