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.
BRUSSELS SPROUT PUREE
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....