Brussels sprouts: you either love ’em or hate ’em. I normally sit on the ‘hate’ side of the fence, but I still find myself forcing a few down every Christmas just because it’s tradition (well, in the UK at least). I’m always looking for ways to make them more appealing, but I haven’t found any sprout recipes I like – until now. This festive risotto from Kym Grimshaw of always-inspiring food blog On The Plate pairs them with smokey bacon and sweet, woody chestnuts – a wonderful combination. It makes a great December supper or even an alternative Christmas Day dinner if you fancy doing something different this year, and it really is delicious.
So, even if you can’t stand the thought of sprouts, please do give it a go – it won me over, and that’s no mean feat!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 slices of smoked streaky bacon, sliced
- 250g of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- large handful of cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 150g of arborio rice, rinsed
- 800ml of chicken stock
- 150ml of dry white wine
- 50g of parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
- olive oil
- Have all your ingredients measured, chopped and ready to go.
- Blanch the sprouts in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes, then drain and cool under cold running water. Set to one side.
- Melt a good knob of butter in a pan over a medium heat, then turn up the heat a little so the butter is foaming. Add the bacon and chestnuts and fry until crisp, then remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
- Add the sprouts to the same pan with more butter and fry, tossing frequently, for 6-8 minutes until piping hot, just cooked and still a vivid green. Remove to the same plate with the chestnuts and bacon. Keep the pan over a medium heat.
- Begin the risotto base in the same pan. Add a drizzle of oil and another knob of butter, and fry the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Tip the rice into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and let it bubble until the alcohol has evaporated.
- Add the stock to the pan one ladle at a time, stirring slowly and waiting for most of the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladle. Continue until all the stock has been added. This should take about 20 minutes and the risotto should be creamy and soupy once cooked.
- Add the sprouts, chestnuts and bacon back to the pan and stir to heat through. Stir in the grated parmesan and season well. Serve with extra parmesan shavings if you like.
All photography by Kym Grimshaw