Sprouts. Has there ever been a more divisive vegetable to grace arguably the most important plate of the year? Baby things are always considered cuter than their grown-up counterparts but rarely has anything as inoffensive as a teeny-tiny cabbage ignited so much fervent arguing over whose plate – if any – they end up on but guys, come on. As with so many things in life, I truly believe that if you don’t like it, it’s just because you’ve not found the right way of eating it.
Obviously this doesn’t count where broccoli is concerned because we all know that’s clearly the Devil’s favourite foodstuff.
Plucked from the pages of October’s Good Food Magazine, an issue that promises your easiest Christmas ever, these sprouts are definitely worthy of a place in your festive feasting. Full of savoury, umami flavours from the Marmite and a slick richness from the butter, the charred leaves are crispy, moreish and may just prove to melt even the most hardened of haters’ hearts.
With both a minimal number of steps & ingredients required, this is the perfect side dish for those who are time or confidence poor in the kitchen.
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tsp Marmite
- 500g sprouts, halved
- Beat the butter and Marmite together in a small bowl until smooth, then chill in the fridge until needed.
- Boil your sprout halves for 3-4 minutes only, then drain and leave to steam-dry.
- Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, let it warm and then add the sprouts, dry-frying them for 4-5 minutes or until they start to char darkly on the cut sides and edges.
- Take the pan off the heat and add a generous chunk of the Marmite butter; sizzle until the butter has melted then shake your pan gently, making sure all the sprout halves are coated.
- Taste and add more Marmite butter if desired then season with pepper but taste again before adding any salt and serve immediately.
NB: Any spare Marmite butter will keep up to a week in the fridge or two months in the freezer although I kept it refrigerated for a few weeks and it was absolutely fine spread on freshly toasted sourdough…and by ‘absolutely fine’, I obviously mean complete & utter heaven.I love how the most iconic of Christmas vegetables has been injected here with a wallop of flavour & texture and I defy anyone to hang onto their often-inherited-loathing once they’ve tasted these babies all crispy, golden and dressed for the party season in a gloriously sweet, salty, sticky, shiny sauce. Adapted from an original recipe found here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/charred-sprouts-marmite-butter