Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Christmas from the Great Big Vegetable Challenge

Posted by Picasa

Happy Christmas from the Great Big Vegetable Challenge!
Please excuse the two week absence from the blog. Our link to the outside world gave up in the cold weather. Deep under the pavement, the aluminium wires snaking into our home snapped in the cold. No phone, no broadband and no blog.
We enjoyed Christmas in London. On Christmas Eve we have a tradition that started six years ago. We make twelve fish dishes, light lots of candles and wade manfully through everything from Cromer crab to squid. The whole feast is served on special fish plates which come out once a year. It is not so much a meal as an aquarium. But Freddie and Alex look forward to it and family Christmas traditions have a habit of persisting, however bizarre.
On Christmas Day, we are more conventional, serving turkey and all-the-trimmings which include of course, the Brussels sprout. We ate Brussel Sprouts under B and very early on in our alphabetical vegetable challenge, Freddie discovered that he loved sprouts. Like many fussy-eaters, Freddie’s fears about vegetables would often revolve around the texture so I made a simple sprout puree which is sweet and goes well with a slice of turkey. Freddie, full of Christmas spirit, gave it 8 out of 10.

Serves 4 as a side dish
1o -12 sprouts
A generous knob of butter
A handful of fresh basil leaves
3-4 tbsp of crème-fraiche
Salt and pepper to season

Bring a pan of water to boil. Quarter the sprouts and when the water is boiling, add them to the water and cook them for around 5 minutes. Take them out of the water with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl. Keep back a few sprout leaves.
Add a generous knob of butter, a handful of basil leaves and two tablespoons of crème- fraiche or double cream. Using a food processor or hand-blender, reduce them to a puree. Serve, decorating the edge of the bowl with the leaves you kept back.
Season with salt and pepper.

Facing the New Year of vegetable eating, we are now ready to resume our journey and the next letter is R and the first R vegetable we will be trying out is the Radish. Please send us all of your ideas....


  1. Oh, what a lovely christmas tradition! :) For radishes, I do have a wonderful little snack idea, a tiny little thing that's so much more than the sum of its parts:

    Hugs to you and your family! Happy new year!

  2. Thanks for sharing your Christmas traditions with us Charlotte. I never really thought of myself as a fussy eater, but brussel sprouts never show up on my plate...ever.....BUT...I might quite enjoy them pureed as in this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Great Big Vegetable Challenge8:30 PM

    We will try out your radish and cheese recipe. Thank you for your christmas wishes!
    Bellini Valli - I am learning to like sprouts and the puree is a good way in - it is mild and sweet and worth trying...

  4. forget the xmas day traditions! can i come round for the next christmas eve feast!!! incidentally my xmas day dinner was mussels.

  5. Great Big Veg Challenge8:49 AM

    Jenny - Feel free!
    Mussels were one of our 12 dishes.

  6. Hope you all had a fab Xmas! Have a great New Year, looking forward to helping out again.

    Luv David x

  7. I love checking in to see how the veggie challenge is progressing. I think I'll have to try the brussel puree. There are some in my family that don't like brussels. I have started to roast brussels along with some other veggies and they sure do taste good.

  8. I've really enjoyed following the veggie challenge for the last few months. I'm afraid I don't have a recipe, but just today I saw these amazing radish garnishes in bento boxes, and decided that I needed to try making them myself. Good luck with the radishes!

  9. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and New Year full of vegetable eating!!!
    I look forward to reading your blog and following your journey in 2008. Best Wishes Sara from farmingfriends

  10. Great Big Veg Challenge3:16 PM

    Sara at Farming Friends
    Thank you! Hope the cold weather isnt making life too hard on the farm. Keep warm.

    Allergy Mom - Thank you for these suggestions. i will take a look!

    Crafty Gardener - thank you for your comment. Do try the brussel sprout puree as it makes them more delicious. Now we are back on track with R for Radish - any Canadian suggestions?
    David Hall - Thank you. And I am looking forward to all the wonderful things you are creating over at Book the Cook. If you havent already visited David's blog - you must!

  11. Sprout puree seems all the rage - an excellent way of eating sprouts - and a really welcome change!
    Best wishes to you all at GBVC - you have made such a difference to the world of veg - long may your blog continue. Happy new year


We always love to read your comments - thank you