12 Brussel Sprouts
80 grams thin sliced prosciutto
50 grams walnuts
1/2 head radicchio lettuceleaves torn into bite size pieces
aged balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt flakes
When most people think brussel sprouts, they think of childhood dinners. Dinners where you were still at the table at 9 pm because you couldn’t get up until you had cleaned your plate. Or maybe that was just at my house.
In any case I recall them being very hard to eat; they made me want to gag to be totally honest with you. To me they tasted like a handful of newspapaer boiled to buggery in cabbage stock, they were that bad. And no offence to my mother, she is a wonderful cook and has taught me plenty about food and cooking, but in the 70’s, “boil it till its grey” was how you prepared vegetables. Which is such a shame really because brussel sprouts, when prepared correctly would have to be one of the most exceptional vegetables you can buy. Try one raw and you will see there is a sweetness under that bitterness, grill them and you will find them to be rather nutty, slice them very thin and they will add texture and a hint of pepper to any salad. I hope this recipe helps you to recognise the crimes we have committed to this versatile little vegetable in the past and that from here on in we can start to make it up to it.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 fahrenheit).
- Put a pot of salted water on to boil.
- Pour about 200 ml of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium flame and reduce until very thick (approx by 3/4, it will thicken more upon cooling).
- Trim and remove any loose leaves off the brussel sprouts.
- Place the slices of prosciutto flat on an oven tray and bake until crispy, approx 10-15 minutes, remove, allow to cool and break into shards.
- Blanche the sprouts in the boiling water until vibrant green, remove from the water and plunge into ice water, once they are cool drain and cut each one in half top to bottom.
- Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium high heat, as they start to turn slightly golden add approx 1-2 tsps of honey and continue to heat, being sure to keep the pan moving as they will burn very quickly if you don’t.
- Once they are golden and glossy, remove them from the pan immediately and spread them out on some baking paper and allow to cool.
- Lightly oil and heat a grill pan or barbeque to high and sear the flat sides of the sprouts until nicely marked with grill marks.
- In a large mixing bowl toss the sprouts, radicchio, walnuts, half the prosciutto shards, a touch of olive oil, a pinch or two of sea salt some cracked pepper and divide evenly amongst 4 plates and garnish with the remaining prosciutto and parmesan cheese and drizzle some of the reduced balsamic syrup over it all.