Sprout Stuffed Squash

sprout squashChristmas is the spiritual home of Brussels sprouts. People have very strong feelings about them one way or the other. Except in our childhood home. I don’t really ever remember eating them on the festive plate when I was wee, possibly because we don’t do turkey either (and don’t even mention bread sauce.)

The first time I really remember them appearing was a few years ago when both our mum and I spotted the same recipe for sprout gratin in the Guardian and were keen to make it. I can’t remember whose recipe it was and I’ve long since lost the cutting, but basically the sprouts are lightly boiled and then blended up with cream and parmesan and baked with more parmesan and breadcrumbs on top. Very simple and utterly amazing. I’ve seen people get territorial over the last spoonful of it.

So when I was coming up with something for £3 Christmas Challenge for the Trussell Trust, this dish was at the back of my mind but I wasn’t quite sure where to go with it. But as you all know, if I’m stuck for an idea, my mind turns to stuffing. And what better to do with the spare Crown Prince squash I’d had sitting getting its gourd on since Hallowe’en on the window sill?

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Sprout and about!

Brussel sprouts appear to be the festive equivalent of Marmite…terribly British, extremely versatile and loathed and loved in equal measure. For most people it just wouldn’t be Christmas dinner without them, but I’ve rarely met anyone who seems utterly devoted to their green goodness, but I have a recipe that might change all that! Adorn your plate with the incredibly easy and utterly heavenly roasted brussel sprout this year!

Tossed in hot oil or goose fat for a more indulgent feeling, these much maligned veg become green goddesses. A crisp outside yields to a tender inner, packed with flavour and filled with goodness. The intense heat really brings out their flavour with no danger of them being soggy or with that bitter brassica bite.

It’s almost insulting to post a recipe for you as these are simply the easiest thing around. Peel off the outer leaves, season well with just black pepper and toss in hot oil or fat and roast whole in the oven for around 30 minutes at 180° until crisp and delicious. Sprinkle well with sea salt and serve immediately.

You can make these even more delicious by adding bacon or chorizo or roasted chestnuts or my particular favourite, a sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese in the serving dish. Just be sure to make more than you think you need because even the most ambivalent sprout eater will want seconds of these little stunners!