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brussels sprouts

Food & Drink

Brussels Sprouts in Pine Nut Butter Recipe

December 3, 2011

Brussels Sprouts in Pine Nut Butter RecipeI have to admit to cooking this vegetable accompaniment to Christmas dinner for the past six years(!) as we love it so much the pine nuts and sprouts can be prepared the day before (or prepared and frozen) making it a really quick and easy veg dish that doesn’t need to be overly worried about on the day.

Brussels Sprouts in Pine Nut Butter Recipe

Ingredients (serves 8)

50g pine nuts
40g butter
Lemon, finely grated zest
Nutmeg, small amount grated
1.1kg Brussels sprouts
200g pancetta (optional)


Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for 2 – 3 minutes until golden and allow to cool. Mix the butter and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the pine nuts and nutmeg and season with freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything together, spoon on to a piece of greaseproof paper and wrap tightly. Freeze for up to a month.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sprouts. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes. Drain well, return to the pan, add the pine nut butter and toss to coat.

Optional: fry the pancetta and add to the mixture.

If you find your sprouts often taste bitter there are a couple of things you can do that will help to reduce this…

If you’re growing your own, avoid picking them until they’ve gone through a few frosts. Frost concentrates the sugars making them a bit sweeter. Also overcooking them can make them bitter, so slicing them in half (which also releases some of the acidic compounds they contain) will help them cook a bit quicker too.

Do you have a favourite sprout recipe for Christmas time?

Vegetable Garden

Mealy Cabbage Aphids on my Brussels Sprouts!

August 6, 2010

Last year it was caterpillars, this year it’s aphids. Something always seems to want to eat my brassicas!

These were found on the tips of the sprouts last week and weren’t immediately obvious.  We first noticed yellow patches on the young leaves that were starting to wrinkle.  On closer examination (hidden inside the new leaf) we found this colony of Mealy Cabbage Aphid.
A heavy attack can kill the tips of the shoots which may encourage new side shoots.  The aphids also like the taste of radish and swede so keep an eye on those veggies too.

As they are a sap eating insect (and can therefore spread virus’) control is encouraged.  An insecticidal soap spray can be used (see blog on home made recipes).

We suffered a similar problem last October on the kale.
This year I’ve removed the infected leaves as I’m attempting to garden without the use of any sprays, including home made soap or garlic.
Although the broad beans were heavily infected with black bean aphid, it was interesting to observe how many predatory insects were on the plants too – particularly ladybirds and what I’m fairly certain were soldier beetles, offering some form of control.