Christmas just wouldn't be the same without Brussels Sprouts!

Love them or loathe them, Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without Brussels sprouts. They were originally cultivated in Belgium (hence the name) from cabbages and arrived in England in the early 19th century. If you intend to grow your own sprouts to accompany your festive feasts, find a variety that will crop in December. To get good compact sprouts plant in firm soil and make sure you feed them well. You can start picking sprouts when they are about the size of a walnut and to save time at Christmas you can harvest about a week before if left on the stalk.

Sprouts have been the butt of many a joke, but cooked well should be firm and have a wholesome nutty taste. That smell we all remember from our school days is the sulphur that’s released from over cooked sprouts.

If you aren’t too keen on straight Brussels sprouts why not try a new recipe idea, such as adding bacon and almonds as suggested by Guy Watson at Riverford Organic Vegetables. Riverford run an excellent organic box scheme with regular newsletters, as recommended by my mum!

Also take a look at the tasty array of sprout recipes at All Recipes.

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