Normally I refuse to discuss or acknowledge or say out loud the word ‘Christmas’ until at least the 24th December. Several things have changed this year, we have two children who by osmosis, nursery, pre-school and picking up and understanding adult conversation are getting very excited by the whole child version of the Christmas concept. We also moved into a home that actually has space for a tree. We haven’t been able to find space for the tiniest of trees for the last four years and this year we are going big! (or so Michael tells me) And lastly we are hosting Christmas Dinner. I’ve never, ever made Christmas dinner or had it in my home so for all of these reasons, I’m actually mildly excited by the whole festive idea.
This of course leads on to menu ideas and what are we going to cook! I’m currently working through ideas and testing the side dishes and as my mum is a vegetarian, I need something more adventurous than boiling some frozen peas. Also she really, really likes Brussels Sprouts, no one else coming to dinner actually likes them but will have the obligatory one as you must do on Christmas day. So in an attempt to make them more palatable for everyone, instead of boiled we tried this roasted recipe with caramelised apple and shallots.
Serves 2 (more than enough if everyone only eats 1-2!)
500g Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1 large red apple, cored and sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200c
- On a baking sheet lay out the sprouts drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, add salt and pepper, stir to coat and roast for 20 mins
- In a frying pan heat the other tablespoon of oil, add the onion cook for 1-2 minutes before adding the apple and the honey, fry for around 5 minutes or until the apple starts to soften and is golden.
- Remove the sprouts from the oven, stir in the apple and shallot mixture, season if necessary and serve
The verdict; I definitely found roasting them far tastier than boiling and the added sweetness of apple and honey cut through the bitterness of the sprouts, it’s enough of a winner that I’ll probably be adding these to the Christmas menu, any tips from your Christmas table would be wonderful. Mains wise we are probably going for Duck & Gammon but veggie options or other sides do please share!
Downside, I made these in the morning and had to go visit a primary school for Eden in the afternoon and I became acutely aware during the tour that I smelt very strongly of sprouts, thank goodness Christmas is just once a year.