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Love or loathe them, these recipes convert the latter and woo the former.
Our good friends at organic food delivery company Abel & Cole have come up
with some handy tips for cooking and dressing your sprouts this Christmas.

That is the question many ask
before prepping their sprouts
for the pot. Some say that
crossing helps their sprouts to
cook faster and more evenly,
thus avoiding the unpleasant
stench of overcooked sprouts.

Alternatively, you could cut
your sprouts into halves (smaller
sprouts) or quarters (larger ones).
It makes for super-speedy cooking.
Cutting the sprouts also helps the
flavours get right down inside them.

Once your sprouts are halved and/or
quartered, toss them into a warm
wok or pan with a good pinch of salt.
Add a little splash of water; just
enough for a 1-2cm puddle in the
bottom of the pan. Let the water
bubble up and steam the sprouts
as the water sizzles away and
evaporates, frequently stirring.

Once the sprouts are a vibrant green
and tender, it's time to dress them!
Scroll down for a few ideas.

Sweet tooth? This sprouty treat makes a great alternative (or addition) to your traditional
Christmas pud. After they get over the initial shock, your guests will be delighted!

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas
mark 4. Grease and line a 20cm round tin or a 900g loaf
tin. Beat the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla together. Add the
flour, cinnamon and ginger. Fold in the grated carrot,
sprouts, walnuts and dates. Cook for just under an hour;
a skewer should emerge from the centre cleanly. Leave
the cake to cool.

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese until it's soft
and then add the icing sugar. Add vanilla extract to taste.
Spread the icing over the cake and decorate with walnuts
and sprouts, if you want to push the point home).

Ingredients
2 eggs
125g caster sugar
100ml vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
125g carrots, grated
125g Brussels sprouts, grated
35g walnuts, chopped
35g dates

(For the Icing)
125g soft cream cheese
250g icing sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
Walnuts to decorate

the caked crusader

You can either make this in
advance or assemble it on the
spot. The key ingredient is a
handful of roasted chestnuts.
Roughly chop them up and
fold in an equal amount of
butter with a good pinch of
sea salt and pepper. That's it.
Toss a nugget of this into
your cooked sprouts. Let it
melt and dive in.

Cumin is great with cabbagey
things and so works like a
dream with sprouts. Once
your sprouts are tender, add a
good pinch of cumin, a little
grating of orange zest, a
squeeze of orange juice, a
hunk of butter and some salt
and pepper. You can either
add the individual ingredients
or whip everything up into a
flavoured butter.

Just when the sprouts are
tender, turn the heat up.
Add a splash of sunflower
or olive oil, along with a
good pinch of freshly
grated ginger root and
finely chopped chilli. Toss
and sizzle for a moment
and finish with a splash
of soy sauce.

This combo will surely
convert any sprout hater.
Once your sprouts are just
tender, add a nugget of
butter. Crumble in a few
rashers of bacon (smokey
and streaky is our fave).
Season with pepper (no salt;
the bacon and cheese have it
covered). Finish with a fresh
grating of Parmesan.

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