I love sprouts.
As with so many things, the secret of coaxing small green parcels of crunchy deliciousness from something that looks (and sounds) so unappealing is in how long—or rather how short—you cook them for.
Even when serving as one of the meat and two I’ll steam for no more than 2 minutes, and then toss gently in melted butter and freshly ground black pepper. Superb.
By the way, that’s the first and last time I’m going to say ‘freshly ground’ black pepper on this blog. You can take it as a given that the black pepper in this house is hand-pestled Bristol 5-pepper blend, unless otherwise specified. That’s the way it is.
Jenny was out this evening, and after I’d put the Boy to bed and taken the bins out I really couldn’t be bothered doing much, but I knew there was a pound of sprouts in the bottom of the fridge, slowly turning an accusing yellow.
So I got out my faithful cast iron wok, stir-fried four cloves of garlic, a chilli from this year’s greenhouse, a tiny red onion from the garden, and a chopped leaf of home-grown lemon grass for a minute or two. Then the remainder of a bag of prawns from the freezer, a dash of light soy sauce, and let that cook for a few minutes until the prawns were pink almost all over.
Then the entire bag of sprouts, quartered, along with some black pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Stir-fried on high for a couple of minutes, then turned out onto some Thai rice noodles and served with fresh prawn crackers.
It took quite some willpower to save a-bit-less-than-half-if-we’re-honest for my lunch tomorrow.