I’m determined to start making it feel like Christmas around here. So far this week I’ve 1) Baked sugar cookies 2) Watched a Christmas classic (Scrooged) and 3) Made my own wreath, but it’s just not cutting it. So I decided to share a few of my own Christmas recipes, and let’s face it, there’s nothing that screams ‘Christmas’ more than a Brussels Sprout. This is a total gamechanger when it comes to Christmas dinner, and tomorrow I’ll be posting a lil something, something for dessert, you won’t want to miss it!
I always remember sprouts being kind of a downer at Christmas dinner. I remember my grandma sitting and painstakingly pruning the sprouts, and then branding the bottom of each one with a tiny cross, before they got boiled to mush in a salty death bath. Total bummer of a vegetable. Gross, bitter little fart pods. So, other than Christmas I wouldn’t go near them, and even at Christmas I’d disguise them under half a bottle of ketchup.
Then, about two years ago when I was living in the local food capital of New York, I discovered that sprouts could actually be pretty delish if you cooked them right. The key is to saute them in a little coconut oil to get them golden brown and toasty, then add in heaps of big flavour. Under no circumstances should you throw them in a pan of boiling salty water. Be good to those little guys, they’re pretty good for you.
For this recipe, I made a batch of garlic broth to infuse the sprouts with big garlic flavour, then added in some white wine vinegar to give it a little acidity, and lots of fresh chopped thyme because that seems festive. These babies are butter soft and melt in your mouth with a big burst of garlic. The only sprout recipe you will ever need!
Fun fact: sprouts are an excellent liver detoxifier; they help the liver do things like clear caffeine faster, meaning you have to drink more to get a buzz (not sure if this applies to booze too, but I intend on finding out, in the name of science of course). They also help clear carcinogens produced by cooked meat, so make sure and eat plenty of sprouts while you’re chowing down on that turkey this year. Sprouts can support the DNA repair mechanism, which can help prevent cancer too. And they can help keep your cholesterol in check. Sweet.
Here’s how you do it:
- 9 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 4 garlic bulbs, skins on, crushed
- 500g fresh sprouts, bottoms trimmed off and cut in half from top to bottom
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup garlic broth
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
- Sea salt
- Boil the water in a big pot, add salt and garlic and simmer uncovered for 1 hour. Strain the garlic and keep the broth in the fridge once cooled. I like to fill ice cube trays with the broth so I can use it whenever I want.
- Heat coconut oil in a large shallow pan over a medium/high heat and when it's hot (but not smoking) add the sprouts cut side down into one snug layer in the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they get lightly browned on the bottom before adding the garlic broth and a generous pinch of salt. Braise in the liquid for ten minutes until most of the liquid has gone. Throw in the white wine vinegar and thyme and cook for a further 4-5 mins until completely tender and season with S&P. There might be a little liquid left, that's OK. Serve immediately before they get cold!
I’m going to put together a roundup of awesome plant based Christmas dinner options over the next few days, so look out for that, and I’ll be posting a great dessert idea tomorrow, so make sure and check back.
AND, if you need some last minute gift inspo, check out my gift guide (like 70% of it you can get on Amazon prime).