What to do with brussels…

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What to do with brussels… alas I have full bag of brussel sprouts waiting for me in the fridge. Usually I serve these stir-fried with walnuts or chessnuts which is a little boring. In my search for something different, I came across Good Food’s Brussels with hazelnuts and brown butter. This sounds like a great veggie take on the good partnership of bacon and brussels.

Another nice idea, if you have potatoes handy is bubble and squeak cakes. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a few recipes featured in the Guardian.

I’ve made Hugh’s Brussel Sprout Salad. The salad is really refreshing; a real taste of the field (in a good way!). The recipe calls for goats cheese so i’ve opted to use Ticklemore Cheese bought from Booths in MediaCity:UK. I absolutely love this cheese and buy it for a treat, you get crumbliness in the middle, then a softer texture towards the rind. It’s now made at Sharpham near Totnes, a lovely little vineyard that also makes an excellent bottle of bubbly (if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a bottle).

I used mixed nuts on this occasion as there are not hazelnuts in the house.

Raw brussels sprouts have such terrific flavour and crunch, it’s surprising that we don’t enjoy them raw more often. Chose the freshest, smallest sprouts you can for this tasty winter salad. These quantities serve one to two.

50g hazelnuts, preferably skin on
150g brussels sprouts, trimmed, discoloured outer leaves removed
Zest of 1 lemon 
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Good pinch of chilli flakes
1-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
80g young, fresh goat’s cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until fragrant and browned – about nine to 11 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap in a clean tea towel and leave for a minute. Rub vigorously in the tea towel – this will remove the browned skins.

Cut the prepared brussels sprouts from top to root into slices about the thickness of a 50p piece. Put these into a bowl and toss with the lemon zest and juice, thyme leaves, chilli flakes, and a tablespoon of oil, and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice and/or chilli flakes as desired.

Arrange on a plate, scatter the hazelnuts over and around and crumble on the goat’s cheese. Trickle over a little more olive oil and serve immediately.

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