Christmas dinner to me spells the appearance of two vegetables that I associate with the festive season, but they then tend to disappear again by the time New Year approaches. I was not keen on Brussel sprouts nor parsnips as a kid, but have grown to like them a bit more over time. However neither a well boiled Brussel, nor a parsnip burnt to a crisp are top of my list things I would reach for when looking for a vegetable to go on my dinner plate.
Recipe No.1 – Parsnip mash
If you are like me and are not mad keen on parsnips try boiling them and mashing them like a spud and add some whole grain mustard. Just try it! It is a revelation.
Now the Brussel sprout recipe is a bit posh, but really better than soggy boiled sprouts.
Recipe No.2 – Brussels sprout, leek & pine nut purée
large knob of butter plus a dash of oil to stop the butter burning
a hand full of Brussels sprouts, very finely sliced
50 – 100 ml of chicken stock
a splash of cream
2-3 leeks, very finely sliced
salt and freshly ground black
pepper to taste
Place a large-bottomed saucepan on high heat. Add the oil first and then the butter and when the butter has melted and begins to foam add the Brussels sprouts. Stir continuously for at least 3 minutes with a wooden spoon. Then add the leeks and a bit more butter if you like and stir well as they cook down. Watch out though as the leeks can cook too quick if they are not stirred well.
You can dry roast the pine nuts (see below) in a non-stick frying pan whilst the sprouts and leeks are cooking.
Add the stock, place a lid on the saucepan and leave to steam for 2-3 minutes. Add the cream and stir, cover and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the leeks are wilted and the sprouts are soft.
Place all in a blender, season with salt and pepper, and purée until smooth (if it’s sticking, add a little more liquid – chicken stock, cream or water). Cool down rapidly to retain the pale green colour and refrigerate until required.
25g of roasted pine nuts
Reheat the Brussels sprout purée in the microwave or a saucepan until hot then fold in the pine nuts that you roasted earlier.
This recipe is a twist on one I found at cusine.co.nz
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