I am not a sprout lover. Over-boiled, cabbagey, dull little bullets are really not my thing, but a bag of them turned up in my vegetable box this week and I was determined to make something tasty with them.
The internet yielded some interesting recipes, all claiming to convert sprout-haters to sprout-o-philes in the blink of an eye. Heidi Swanson's recipe involved both frying and cheese, which seemed like it could be promising. I decided to fry off the sprouts til golden as Heidi does, and then add soy sauce to the hot pan, giving a salty intensity to the earthy veg. I then stirred them through a simple rice pilaff with some pomegranate seeds for juice and colour. A hefty dusting with grated parmesan and I was converted.
Sprout & pomegranate pilaff (serves 1)
12 small sprouts, washed, ends trimmed and any grotty outer leaves removed
1 tbsp olive oil
65ml brown rice, measured in a jug or cup (I like Tilda wholegrain Basmati)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
A handful of pomegranate seeds
Grated parmesan, to taste
1. Halve the sprouts and toss in the olive oil.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. When hot, add the rice and stir around until you start to hear it pop.
3. Add the stock to the rice. Bring up to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a teatowel and then the lid. Cook for 15mins without opening the lid to peek! If lots of steam is coming out, turn the heat down.
4. Heat a frying pan and when hot, add the oiled sprout halves to the pan, flat side down. Put a lid over the frying pan so that the sprouts steam in their own juices for around 5 minutses.
5. Once the sprouts are steamed, take the lid off the frying pan and stir them around to get some browned crispiness on the rounded sides too. Splash over the soy sauce. Leave to rest in the hot pan until the rice is cooked.
6. Stir the sprouts and pomegranate seeds through the rice. Season and add parmesan.
It also occurred to me that this might be nice with walnuts or toasted pine nuts sprinkled through. Who knew sprouts could be so tasty? Sign me up to Sprout-a-holics Anonymous!