08 Aug // Brussels sprouts correspondent

From the Things-I-Never-Thought-I'd-Do-With-My-Life files, a few months back I went on TVNZ's Breakfast show to talk to the nation about Brussels sprouts. I didn't think Brussels Sprout Correspondent would ever be something you'd see on my CV but it's funny the way life works out sometimes, isn't it? 

I'm a fan, but this much-maligned vegetable has its haters, and it was my job to simply offer a way to cook them. This simple and punchy recipe was the one the nation was treated to over their morning coffee, and since I completely forgot to share the recipe then, and because I've had more than one person message me recently asking for advice on how to cook them, herewith. Brussels sprouts.  

I only learnt embarrassingly recently (i.e. well into adulthood) that they are not brussel sprouts but in fact Brussels sprouts, as in the city in Belgium. Ever since a Lativian chef called Yvetta I worked with years ago sauteed them in butter and bacon and added walnuts and parsley, I have been a Very Big Fan. I'd never hated them, I'd just never really given them much thought, or knew how to cook them. They're now a lot more popular, and I prefer them a little crunchy, with a super punchy dressing, plenty of fresh herbs, and some nuts for added crunch, if you've got them. As we inch tantalisingly closer towards spring, this is a dish worth getting on your dinner table while you still can. Alongside some meat or fish or whatever other protein you're serving, it's a simple and impressive side.       

Brussels sprouts with a lemony dressing

Take a couple of cups of Brussels sprouts. 

Cut into halves, and remove any loose, manky-looking leaves.

Scatter onto a roasting tray lined with baking paper, then drizzle with olive oil and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, and cracked black pepper.

Roast for about 10-15 minutes at 200C. 

Meanwhile, make the dressing. You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • zest and juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • a couple of tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • a couple of tablspoons of roughly chopped, or sliced, almonds

Simply whisk together the oil, mustard, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as necessary - you may need more lemon juice or more oil. Then stir through the almonds and the parsley.

Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven, drizzle over the dressing, and enjoy!