This tasty little dish jazzes up the humble sprout into something silly delicious. It works so well as a quirky vegetable side dish, or a very light supper; personally, I’m dying to try it with seared duck breast and pomegranate molasses… I’ll let you know! It’s sweet, aromatic and suitably Christmas-y for this time of year.
As ever, this is less a recipe with hard and fast quantities, and more a rough guideline for, hopefully, creating something lip-smackingly good…
Hazelnuts (I like with the skin on, but blanched are perfect too)
Brussel sprouts (1 handful per portion)
Small hunk of ginger
Runny honey (approx. 1 teaspoon per portion)
Tamari (approx. 1 teaspoon per portion)
First toast the hazelnuts in a hot oven or under a preheated grill. They should take about 4-5 minutes. Allow them to cool slightly before rubbing about in your hands, encouraging some of the skin to come off.
Bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Peel, and very finely chop the ginger.
Cut the tail ends off the sprouts if necessary. Blanch these in the boiling water for 3 minutes, and have a bowl of iced water nearby, ready for shocking.
Drain the sprouts and tip immediately into the icy water to prevent over-cooking and to preserve colour. Once cold, drain again and halve each sprout. If you are preparing in advance, you can do everything up until this point, simply sautéing the sprouts at the last minute. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts too.
When you’re ready to eat, heat a knob of butter in a hot frying pan, no need to be shy here, it’ll make it all the more delicious, and butter is back! When hot and foaming (though not hot enough to brown), add the sprouts, cut side down if possible. Sautee for 3-4 minutes – the aim is to warm them through, and to caramelize the exterior, without necessarily cooking them any further.
Add the finely diced ginger and keep things moving. Working quickly, add a squeeze of honey and a dash of tamari. Keep it all shuffling around. You should start to see the honey, butter and tamari mingle and brown, forming a caramel of sorts. Keep the heat high, but not full full whack.
Add the zest and juice of half an orange.
Finally, add the chopped hazelnuts and continue cooking until much of the liquid has evaporated, so that what’s left in the frying pan is of a sticky, syrupy consistency. This should take approximately 2-3 minutes.
Tip into warmed plates or bowls and finish with a squeeze of lime over the top, to sharpen all the glorious flavours. YUM.