SPROUT UP YOUR LIFE! IF YOU WANNA HAVE A GOOD TIME! (etc to the dulcid tones of the Spice Girls).
But yes, sprouts. So misunderstood. Often tortured and boiled for way too long a time. I used to hate them, the infernal tiny cabbages wheeled out for some torturous boiling before they meet the Christmas table. Who liked cabbage? (I did not). Why would you want lots of tiny cabbages? I didn’t know just how good they were, I always met them tired and burned out and no one looks good like that. Sprouts are all the better for a quick flash in the pan, a kiss of heat, and they love some smoke. So I got my barbecue out.
I love to have bacon with my sprouts (and Project Bacon backers have my Bacon and Sprout “Yakitori” recipe to play with for Christmas). These lucky sprouts got to share their plate with some ‘nduja, and some hazelnuts on top for a little extra pleasure (some toasted breadcrumbs would work really well too0. ‘Nduja is that firey spreadable sausage from Calabria, as much chilli as pork as fat. It is terrific and it goes so well with the stout sprouts.
If you don’t have a barbecue you can do these in the oven or on the hob too. Measure your ‘nduja levels with a quick taste (it isn’t raw, and you can eat it as it is, just as a spread). You can buy ‘nduja in most Italian delis and you can buy it online too.
Other ‘nduja recipes:
Smoked Sprouts with 'Nduja and Hazelnuts
- 500g sprouts, external leaves removed if a bit ragged
- 1 red onion, peeled and halved then cut into thin slices
- 50g chopped hazelnuts (chop your own or buy them chopped, whatever suits)
- 50g 'nduja (it is HOT so gauge your own consumption)
- light oil for frying like rapeseed or groundnut
If using your BBQ (I used my Big Green Egg) set it up for indirect cooking at 150 deg C.
In a cast iron pan or similar pan that you can use on the grill, add a tablespoon of oil and the onion. Ensure the onion is well coated in oil and cook for 10 minutes.
Add the sprouts and stir through. Cook for about 15 minutes until tender and still firm.
Add the nduja and allow to soften in the heat before stirring through. Toast the hazelnut in a dry frying pan over medium until brown and serve on top.