So you know how I said fennel was the most polarising vegetable out there? I think I may have found one more maligned. This guy - he stinks. Not figuratively either. If you boil the bejesus out of him, he'll pong up your kitchen and ain't nobody eating a meal at your house for months. So if you're interested in scaring off dinner party pals, this veggie's your man.
Of course, if you treat him good, he'll repay the favour in a big way. I've seen the leaves baked and also served raw with a fancy little vinegarette. But this is my absolute fave: roasted.
Of course, there's roasting, and then there's roasting. Just so you know, there's no point baking up these bad boys if you haven't added a little porcine goodness to the mix. This is streaky bacon and he's happy to meet you. Of course, he's a bit like a mean street drug. Once you've had a taste, you'll be selling your Mum's fine china for more. Don't say I didn't warn you.
So you've got sweet and you've got savoury. You'll be needing a little acid in there. How about some vinegar, fine sir? And mustard for some heat? Or how about mustard because it's a day ending in 'Y'? If you insist!
The pics of the finished product don't look that enticing, particularly when compared to the shiny green little globes they started off as. They kind of ending up looking a bit like leafy dirt. But don't be put off - they're toasty and roasty and sprouts with the mosty. Oh wow - did you see how I did that? I'm going to leave now. End on a high. Of sorts.
500g brussels sprouts
4 rashers streaky bacon
1/2 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 190ºC.
Peel the outer leaves of the sprouts - you'll only take the rough looking ones. You may need to trim the nubby end of the sprouts too. Cut the bacon into short lengths (lardons). Peel and slice the onion and chop the garlic. Add with one tablespoon of olive oil to the sprouts and bacon and pour into a roasting tin. Roast for 40 minutes or until dark golden brown in colour.
To make the dressing, mix the remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour over the sprouts and serve immediately.