I’m so done with winter. After about 10cm of snow yesterday, I’ve just about reached my limit. Unfortunately, I can’t just escape to a sunny island and whether I like it or not, I’m going to have to ride out winter with the rest of this side of the world. I suppose if I have to look at the bright side of things, brussel sprouts can still be found at the supermarket. One of the best things about this season for me is the abundance of these little parcels of goodness. Not only are they very good for you, they’re supremely tasty (as I’ve discovered in recent years).
This dish is very fresh and bright making it perfect to eat in anticipation of Spring. The slow pan roasting of the brussel sprouts bring out their delicate sweetness. The pesto lightens things up. The peas add a little pop while the wilted rocket adds just a touch of pepperyness to round out the flavour. Topped with a poached egg, this dish is the perfect mixture of comforting and fresh.
Roasted Brussel Sprout, Fresh Pea and Pesto Hash
For 2 people
- about 1/6 of a cup of pine nuts
- 1 small clove of garlic
- A couple good pinches of sea salt
- large handful of fresh basil
- about 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
- a good glug of olive oil
- pepper to taste
- 1 medium potato
- 8 oz brussel sprouts
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 3/4 cup of fresh peas
- two large handfuls of rocket
- zest of one lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
In a pestle and mortar, add the pine nuts, garlic and salt and smash away till the mixture is almost smooth. Then add in the basil leaves and mash them up till they are well combined and the whole mixture looks like a paste. Don’t worry too much about getting it very smooth, it will still taste amazing. Add in the parmesan and a few glugs of olive oil. You want to make the mixture slightly runny, but not overly oily. Season to taste.
Next, peel off the outer layers of the brussel sprouts and cut into quarters. Place in a colander to rinse and then set aside.
Everything till now can be done in advance and put in the fridge in air tight containers. It will make things slightly easier when you’re starving on Sunday morning after a long lie in!
Place a medium sized saute pan on the cooker at medium-high heat. Let it heat up and add in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the brussel sprouts and lower to medium-low heat. Let them cook slowly, stirring every so often to get a good color all over.
Meanwhile, peel the potato and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat another small saute pan on medium high heat and add in 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in the potatoes when hot and toss often to get a crisp result.
It will take about 20 min or so for the brussels to become caramelized and potatoes to cook through. While these are both cooking, make sure the peas are ready. If using frozen, bring to room temp in a bowl of hot water, otherwise have your fresh peas rinsed. Give the rocket a quick rinse and put to the side.
Get started on poaching your egg. I like to do mine somewhat Heston Blumenthal style and strain the eggs in a fine sieve and then dropping into a simmering pan of water. This eliminates all the stringy bits and usually turns out great! Turn off the heat and let it sit for about 4 minutes so the center is still soft and oozy.
While the egg is poaching, put the peas, brussels and potatoes in the same pan and distribute evenly. In the spare warm pan, spread out the rocket so it wilts slightly. Plate the peas, brussels and potatoes mixture and then dot with the pesto. Top with the wilted rocket and then the poached egg. Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. Sprinkle with fresh lemon zest.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of brussels, still give this a go. The mix of flavours will surprise you. Maybe add more potatoes, less brussels. I’m sure you will love it!
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