Brussels sprout with onion jam

I’m proud to say I’m the newest member of the ‘Brussels Sprout Appreciation Society’. Ok, so some of you might be raising your eyebrows and looking out the corner of your eye at me like I’m a crazy person but until you’ve tried this dish, don’t knock it.

I’ve never cooked with this particular vegetable until recently when I realised they were just little baby cabbages and who doesn’t love a baby cabbage, especially one who is happy to be eaten raw or cooked.

This recipe is adapted from ‘Veggies’ a gorgeous cookbook by Simon Bryant. Check out this lovely leek and potato tart with feta recipe, also from Simon’s book.

Brussels sprout with onion jam is pretty easy to prepare and makes a brilliant Sunday night meal with a glass of wine. If I added bacon to this recipe (which I didn’t), I’m pretty sure Al would have said it was perfect.

Depending on the size of your sprouts you may need to cut them in half, like I did. If they are petite, then I’d leave them whole. I used about fifteen to make this dish which was enough for two large servings and leftovers the next day.

To prepare the sprouts, make a cut in the base and steam them whole until tender and set aside.

DSC00536Preheat your oven to 220 degrees. Meanwhile, finely slice a large white onion and add to a saucepan with a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a pinch of salt. After it has cooked down, approximately 10 minutes, add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Let this continue to cook, stirring regularly so the onion doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You are looking for a lovely rich, golden colour.

DSC00539Now you can move onto your white sauce. Melt 70 g unsalted butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add approximately 40 g plain flour and stir for a few minutes, to cook the flour but not colour it. Slowly add 2 cups of milk (don’t add all of the milk at once), stirring continuously to avoid lumps forming. Keep stirring for about five minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Add a good handful of grated cheddar cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

DSC00541Lay your brussels sprouts into an oven dish and spoon over some of the white sauce. Now layer the onion jam, more of the white sauce and some more grated cheese. Finally, put the brussels sprout to sleep by covering the whole lot with panko breadcrumbs for a crisp topping. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top and put into the oven to cook for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden.

DSC00542DSC00545DSC00548DSC00549I also love brussels sprout grated raw over a salad or the tiny leaves picked and dressed with evo and lemon juice. I’m keen to find other ways to use this veggie so please tell me your favourite way to enjoy them?

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