Address to a Sprout

Since I’m in Scotland and all I thought i’d hop on the Burns bandwagon and dedicate a wee verse not to the Haggis (more of this on Burns night-25th january) but to the poor sprout; the black sheep of the vegetable world.

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face

Great chieftain o’ the veggie race

Well are ye wordy of a grace

As lang’s my arm

Sprouts have had a bad press throughout history but with the following recipe you’ll never neglect them again-i promise. I wish i could claim that I invented this wee gem but i didn’t. It’s great for a Christmas “amuse bouche” to get even sprout-hater’s enthused, or for a snack or light supper. Sprouts are in season now and if you get them fresh they should taste sweet and nutty rather than of sulphur.

Brussel Sprout and Parmesan Salad

This is not really an exact recipe- allow about 4-5 sprouts per person. Peel off the outer leaves, cut of the stalk, cut in half then chop very very finely-you will need a sharp knife or a mandolin.

Plunge into a bowl of icy water to crisp up (if you can be arsed-normally i cant)

Shave roughly a good chunk of parmesan-the real stuff.

Put the sprouts and parmesan in a bowl and season with sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Squeeze the juice of about 1/4 of a lemon over it, then drizzle on a couple of glugs of the very best olive oil you can find. Toss together, check the seasoning, add more acidity/more oil to adjust the balance and serve. As simpe as that- it should be salty, lip-smackingly sharp and savoury, and sweet and nutty all at the same time. Magic.  

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