As part of my one-man global campaign to raise the public profile of the humble Brussels sprout, I present the recipe below.
I’ve always loved Brussels sprouts. It’s the name I object to. They sound like diminutive Belgians instead of tasty green vegetables with an earthy but mild flavour and a texture that is kind of creamy-soft yet holds together beautifully. Brussels sprouts never go floppy and fall apart like some other vegetables I could name. You can depend on Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts with bacon and pine nuts on polenta.
Boil, or over-boil, depending on your preference, your sprouts.
Dice some very good bacon (as against bad bacon, of which there is plenty around) and sizzle it in a pan until it is almost crisp, at which point throw in some very finely chopped red onion and a handful of pine nuts. Take the pan off the flame after a minute or two or when the pine nuts are just starting to brown.
Meanwhile, cook up a pot of polenta. Actually, start the polenta first. It takes longest unless you use the instant stuff. Feel free to throw in plenty of your favourite flavour enhancers – butter, parmigiano, olive oil, salt, pepper. Or all of them. Make it nice and creamy and cheesy.
Drain the sprouts very well and toss them with the warm, crispy bacon and toasted pinenuts. Serve over the cheesy polenta and top it all with sour cream.
Now go out and buy Brussels sprouts!