Winter fare should be rich, hearty and plentiful – and that naturally includes delicious side dishes and interesting ways to prepare vegetables. Brussels sprouts are a perfect example of how a relatively ‘plain’ vegetable can be transformed into a thing of wonder with a simple twist in its preparation. Around Christmas time ‘brussels’ are in abundance, so take advantage of the seasonal glut and try something a little different from the norm… You won’t regret it!
I must admit that I’ve never been a particular fan of sprouts! That’s until I prepared them in this way – richly sauteed in butter and garnished with a generous grating of parmesan. They retain a delicious peppery ‘nutty’ bite, sufficiently tasty to win over even the toughest of ‘anti-sprout-protesters’! Give this recipe a go and you’ll soon see what I mean. Once tasted, you’ll never prepare them any other way!
Sprouts are a great green vegetable for a low carb diet. At around 5-6g net carbs per 100g, they’re brilliant for diabetics and those on a keto- or paleo-plan. They’ll be no impact to your blood-sugar and they’re packed with micronutrients, making them supremely ‘good for you’, as well as being a perfect keto-friendly foodstuff.
Start by dicing smoked bacon and adding this to a heavy-based saute-pan with a large spoonful of butter. Cook this until it starts to colour, then add a finely sliced onion and a crushed clove of garlic. Continue to saute these until the onion is soft and translucent.
Meanwhile, prepare your sprouts. Cut off the tough base stalk and halve the individual sprouts lengthways. The tougher outer leaves will fall off, which is no problem – simply discard these as the inner leaves have a much nicer texture. Once ready, add your sprouts to the pan and turn up the heat. An extra spoon of butter will help to soften them as they cook.
Pour on a centimetre’s depth of white wine or vermouth, then crumble in a couple of chicken stock-cubes. These provide a background warmth which ’rounds off’ the flavour and combats any acidity. Simmer the brussels for about 20 minutes until tender or until the liquid has evaporated. Season well, then stir through a generous grating of parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Tumble into a serving dish and rush to the table whilst still piping hot. Delicious!
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Thanks for reading and bon ap!