As we approach Christmas day the big question is 'do you like sprouts or don't you?'
I don't ever remember liking Brussels sprouts growing up, but sometime in my adult years I decided that I liked them after all, and now I love them! I think my daughter is heading the same way, as last year, after 11 years of eating sprouts, she declared that she now couldn't stand them. Maybe it's just not cool to like sprouts when you're a teen, or maybe our palate changes along with our bodies. Hopefully, when she's past those awkward teen years she'll once again find a love for them, but in the meantime I attempted to get her to eat some Flower Sprouts for dinner.
Flower sprouts are a relatively new vegetable, which are kind of a cross between sprouts and a mini cabbage or kale. They're not as tightly packed as a Brussels sprout, and therefore don't need to be cooked for as long, and after a quick blanch in boiling water they're tender enough to eat or add to a stir fry. It reminded me of the leaves of purple sprouting broccoli.
I made two dishes with my flower sprouts, the first of which was a warm salad for my lunch.
Flower Sprout, Bacon & Chestnut Salad - serves 1
tbsp sesame oil
3 rashers of lean dry cured bacon, chopped
handful of cooked chestnuts, chopped
3-4 handfuls of flower sprouts
tbsp dark soy sauce
- heat the oil in a large frying pan
- add the bacon and fry until turning brown
- add the chestnuts and sprouts and fry for a couple of minutes
- add the honey and soy sauce and stir to coat everything and continue frying until the sprouts are heated through and tender
The second dish I made was for the rest of the family, and this time I cut the sprouts in half and blanched them quickly in boiling water to soften.
Flower Sprout & Chicken Chow Mein - serves 4
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced
pinch of dried ginger
pinch of Chinese 5 spice
5-6 tbsp dark soy sauce
350g cooked chicken breast strips
150g flower sprouts
3-4 sheets of egg noodles
- heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok
- add the garlic and onion and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes
- add the ginger, 5 spice, 2 tbsp soy sauce and chicken breast and continue cooking for another minute or two whilst you blanch the sprouts
- bring a pan of boiling water to the boil and add the sprouts for 60 seconds before draining
- cook the noodles as per directions on the pack, and set aside
- add the sprouts to the pan and toss to coat, adding more soy sauce as and when needed
- add the noodles and stir - ensure everything is heated through before serving
The Chow Mein was a massive hit with the family. Before eating Jack declared "I don't like these green bits', but then went on to eat the lot. Hanna didn't ask what the green bits were so I didn't tell her, well not until she'd eaten the lot & said how nice it was . Later she said it tasted like broccoli.
post commissioned for flower-sprout.com