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Tahini Roast Brussel Sprouts

'Dear Mummy, Enjoy your sprouts."

Tahini Roast Brussel Sprouts
That is exactly what my 6 year old wrote in her Christmas card to me last month!
In the same vein that I always write something along the lines of 'Enjoy your cake and presents' because I know they are the things she is most looking forward to, she knows that Brussel Sprouts are one of my favourite parts of the traditional Christmas dinner.

Yes, she thinks I'm weird as the part she most looks forward to is the Christmas Pud and Yule Log. Great minds don't necessarily need to think alike and we agree to disagree on this most significant festive debate!

For Christmas I always parboil my sprouts (no more than a few minutes as there is nothing more revolting that overcooked soggy sprouts) before plunging in cold water to stop further cooking. Just before serving I fry a few rashers of chopped bacon in a deep frying pan (or a wok would work) until crispy and all oil has been released, then throw in the pre-cooked sprouts with a handful of chopped chestnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve piping hot (and NOT overcooked!).

But Brussel Sprouts are not just for Christmas. They are prevalent and cheap throughout the season and still going strong. A huge half kilo pack only costs £1 so they are kind on the budget as well as being healthy and tasty. As a member of the cruciferous family, they are a powerhouse of antioxidants, vit A, vit K, vit C, minerals like calcium, copper, iron, potassium - they're like an army of little round green superheroes!

Here's how I cook them most regularly.

Tahini Roast Sprouts

Serves 2 as a side dish

Tahini Roast Brussel Sprouts
250g brussel sprouts, trimmed and any discoloured leaves removed (no need to fiddle around with scoring intricate crosses)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 heaped tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
optional: 1 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius (350 degrees farenheit) and line a baking sheet with foil if using (this just makes washing up a little easier for those bothered by these things).
2. If any sprouts are significantly bigger cut them in half so they all cook in the same time.
3. Tumble the sprouts onto the prepared baking sheet.
4. Whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, tahini and garlic powder until smooth.
5. Pour the mixture over the sprouts and smoosh it around so they are evenly coated. Sprinkle on sesame seeds if using.
6. Season to taste with a grind or two of salt and pepper.
7. Roast in preheated oven for 25-30minutes depending on the size of the sprouts. Keep an eye on them towards the end.
8. Enjoy immediately, crispy on the outside and squidgy on the inside. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and eaten cold.

** Note I have a fan oven. For non-fan conventional ovens you will need to turn the temperature up 10 degrees celsius or so.