Brussels sprouts belong to the cabbage family, and are similar to the cabbage in their growing habits and requirements. Sprouts grow on large stalks and have a sweet nutty flavour, are a great source of vitamin A, potassium, calcium, protein and fibre, and are low in fat. Whilst the first crops are ready by September we think they are at their best after the first bite of frost has covered them as Winter arrives. We will have locally grown spouts in abundance this Winter at Little Budworth and Lower Stretton, both loose and on stalks.
So why is the Brussels sprout one of the only things associated with Christmas to have such a bad reputation? This is possibly due to the bad smell that comes from them when they are overcooked, so just try not to overcook them! Try part boiling them for five minutes, then adding them into a large pan with some already fried crispy strips of bacon (we recommend our Butcher’s Treacle Cured Bacon) and fried chestnuts, add a little water and cover for 5 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally. Finish with salt, pepper and a generous knob of butter; delicious. We are sure it will have the family reaching for more!
At the Cowap family farm next door to The Hollies at Little Budworth, they have been busy growing a new ‘superfood’ called the flower sprout. Originally created in Surrey, this is a cross between a Brussels sprout and kale, which is a true seasonal vegetable as it is only available in Winter time. This vegetable combines the complex taste of the sprout with the mild, sweet ‘nutty’ taste of the kale. It has a tall stem and green frilly leaves with streaks of purple. After a simple rinse, the flower sprout can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, blanched or stir fried. Watch out for the flower sprout; coming soon to The Hollies. Try steaming it then stirring in some fresh herbs, garlic and pine nuts for a tasty Winter salad
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