I grew up & lived in Belgium for 27 years, and there was one thing that I never ever liked: Brussels Sprouts. My parents tried their hardest to get us to like it when we were kids, but no matter how often they tried to get us to eat it, I just didn’t like their taste at all. We even had a deal with our mom that she could only make sprouts once a year. But then suddenly about a week ago I was thinking of an end-of-winter recipe that had butternut squash in it as well, as I bought one the week before but hadn’t done anything with it yet. And somehow, my mind was immediately drawn to Brussels Sprouts. It could be because I’ve seen them being sold for months now and knowing that there was this one vegetable I didn’t like got in my head. Surely there had to be some way to cook it that would make me like it too?
I must say I was so worried when I sat down to eat this recipe, but damn, it was delicious! I served it in a very basic way, just with some bacon lardons. You could also serve it with a very large selection of meats, as it’s a recipe best eaten during fall – winter and just before Spring is in the air you can either eat it with any type of game like venison, boar, duck, rabbit or pheasant, but also with some steak, ham or bacon. Last but not least you can serve it with some Easter lamb. But don’t worry if you’re a vegetarian or pescetarian, it can easily be eaten with fish as well or with meat replacers.
I am simply over the moon that I have managed to cross off an ingredient of my ‘list of things I don’t like’, especially cause it’s a very healthy one too. Raw Brussels sprouts contain excellent levels of vitamin C and vitamin K, with more moderate amounts of B vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B6; essential minerals and dietary fibre exist in lesser amounts. Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties.
Serves: 2-3 people
- 500g Brussels Sprouts
- 1 red onion
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 7 tablespoons of Cranberry sauce (I recommend Ballymaloe)
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 butternut squash
Trim any loose or damaged leaves, wash, then trim the base. Slice the sprouts in half and put them in a large casserole. Chop op the onion and add it to the oven dish as well.
All that’s left now is the butternut squash, which is a pain in the ass to cut. You can leave on the peel if you want, but for this recipe I would recommend removing it. The best way to do this is to cut up the pumpkin in 4 big chunks with a very large sharp knife and then cut up each part (with the peel still on) until you get bitesize sizes, which will make it easier to remove the peel.
Once that’s done, add it to the rest of the dish and stir in the honey, olive oil and cranberry sauce. Stir it all together well and then pop it in the oven for 45 minutes at 180°C, but make sure to stir everything once in a while, to prevent the sprouts from burning.