Brussels sprouts are synonymous with Christmas dinner. This classic combination of Brussels sprouts and chestnuts is really easy to make and is perfect for the Christmas table or with any winter roast.
Easy side dish
Love them or hate them Brussels sprouts are a staple on many a Christmas table. I fall into the love them camp (although Mr B is more take them or leave them) because they are one of the few truly seasonal vegetables left. So to me when winter comes they are a must and not just on the festive table.
While I will happily eat plain boiled sprouts, I also like to jazz them up a bit and this classic combination with chestnuts is a favourite way to do that. Not least because it is so easy to make, - I do like recipes made easy!
How to prepare Brussels sprouts
Choose brussels sprouts that are firm, bright green and with tightly packed leaves. Wash the sprouts and use a small paring knife to trim away any discoloured or damaged leaves.
Do not cut a cross in the base of your sprouts. They will not cook any quicker so it's just added prep time for nothing.
Boiled or steamed sprouts
I usually boil my brussels sprouts but you can steam them if you prefer.
Steam halved sprouts in a steamer set over a pan of simmering water, for 5 mins (longer if needed).
How to make Brussels Sprouts and chestnuts
1 First prepare the sprouts and cook them in a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes. No longer we don't want soggy sprouts here.
2 Next, melt some butter and a little oil in a large frying pan and add the coarsely chopped chestnuts. I use vacuum-packed chestnuts as they are so convenient.
3 Add some chopped shallots to the pan and gently sauté the chestnuts and shallots together until the shallots are softened.
4 Finally, drain the cooked sprouts well and add to the pan and toss the mixture together before transferring to a serving bowl.
It really is that easy!
How long will Brussels sprouts keep?
While it is always good to use vegetables as fresh as you can sprouts can be kept in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.
If you can buy them while still on the stem they may keep longer as the stem stops them from losing moisture. Twist them off firmly starting at the base and working upwards just before cooking. As they take up more space, if you are short of fridge room, you may prefer to stick the stem into the ground in the garden.
Brussels Spouts are full of goodness
Brussels sprouts contain high amounts of compounds called glucosinolates and it is this that can give sprouts a bitter flavour which many dislike but if you do enjoy them they also come along with some great health benefits.
- High in nutrients conataining several minerals and are especially high in vitamin C and K.
- Low in Calories – just 43 calories per 100g (3½ oz).
- Rich in antioxidants – Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress in your cells and help lower your risk of chronic disease.
- High in Fibre
- They may also come with added health benefits, including the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and improve blood sugar control.
* Source "10 ways Brussels sprouts benefit your health"
Overcooking intensifies the bitter flavours which is another reason to make sure you cook your sprouts until just al dente (firm to the bite). Properly cooked they have a delicious nutty sweetness.
When serving these at Christmas I tend to leave them just as they are as there are so many other flavours and extras with the festive roast. But on other weekends I like to add some bacon or chopped spicy chorizo to the chestnuts in the frying pan to ring the changes. Totally delicious!
Sprouts are best eaten freshly cooked but left sprouts can be shredded and used in Bubble and squeak or stir-fries
Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts
- paring knife
- frying pan
- 750 g Brussels Sprouts prepared (see body of post on how to prepare)
- 25 g butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 150 g cooked peeled chestnuts, coarsley chopped
- 1 or 2 shallots, chopped
- salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Add 750g (1lb 10oz) prepared sprouts to a pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 3– 5 minutes (depending on size) until just tender.
- Meanwhile, melt 25g (1oz) butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan and tip in 150g (5oz) coarsely chopped chestnut and 1 or 2 chopped shallots and sauté gently until the shallots have softened.
- Drain the cooked sprouts and add to the pan. Toss over the heat for a minute or two to combine. Season with salt and pepper then transfer to a warming serving bowl to serve.
Im linking this post up to #CookBlogShare hosted by Melissa Traub