Poor old brussel sprouts

It must be sad being the vegetable that everyone loves to detest. Lets face it, children hate brussel sprouts even more than they hate broccoli, even more than they hate cleaning their rooms, or kissing the cheek of their creepy Aunt Edith who smells unsettlingly of urine.

Just maybe though, as you get older you get a taste for this little member of the brassica family. December in England is the time of year when fresh, seasonal and locally grown sprouts can be found in the farmer’s markets. Sprouts are best bought still on the stem – and lets face it they are one of the wackiest looking plants on the planet. For that reason alone it deserves a little respect. The sprouts grow directly off the woody stem, and the whole thing is then crowned by a large, loosely bundled mega-sprout on the top.

And here’s THE THING. That mega-sprout on top is the best bit. Not only does it’s presence herald a truly fresh sprout stem, but it is also lip smackingly good to eat. Underneath it will be surrounded by little cute sprouts; cut it off the stem at this point and steam the whole head. Wash any dirt from amongst the leaves first.

OK – you have to like brussel sprouts to begin with enjoy this. But life isn’t just oranges and bananas. Live a little…