5 ways with sprouts this Christmas by Miranda Gore Browne

Sprouts cooked with bacon and cranberries in a dish with a wooden spoon.

Sprouts with bacon & cranberries.

Raw, roasted, boiled, pureed or baked, sprouts really are the most versatile of veg, says Miranda Gore Browne.

Sprouts with bacon & cranberries

Fry finely chopped bacon or pancetta in a large frying pan with a tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Parboil the sprouts in some boiling water - they should be quite firm as they will cook more in the frying pan. Add the sprouts to the pan with the bacon, cook for about five minutes until they colour a little. Add a handful of fresh cranberries to the pan and cook until they start to burst. Add a dash of red wine, sherry or some balsamic vinegar.

Sprout coleslaw is delicious with a peanut and orange dressing. Finely shred the sprouts, add grated apples, grated red cabbage and a handful of toasted chopped peanuts. In a jar, mix 2 tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter, the juice and zest of 1 orange and 3-4 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, tightly screw on the lid and shake well. Pour over the vegetables and toss to cover evenly.

Soy and ginger sprouts. Roast the sprouts in a deep roasting tin in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Mix some fresh grated ginger, soy sauce and some honey in a jar. Pour this over the sprouts and ensure they are all covered. Pop back into the hot oven to roast for a further 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds and eat immediately as a side dish or nibbles.

Cheesy caramelised sprouts on toast. Reinvent the humble toasty this winter with sprouts! Fry bacon in a pan and lift out into a bowl and put to one side. Put the shredded sprouts into the bacon fat in the same pan and cook until they start to colour. Add a tablespoon of honey and let them bubble a little. Cut chunky slices of bread, toast, add a thick layer of cheese and melt under the grill, pile on the caramelised sprouts and bacon. Put a dollop of cranberry sauce or chutney on the side and devour.

Sprout dip or sprout pesto is easy to make, great as a dip, delicious stirred through pasta and topped with strong cheddar or add to roasted fish, meat and vegetable traybakes. Whizz raw sprouts in a food processor with rapeseed oil, toasted pine nuts, parmesan or strong cheddar (grated) and a little garlic, crushed. Add a little more oil to make it smooth. Keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days.

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