Brussel Sprouts, made modern!

Sprouts JPG (4)

Sprouts. It’s like a rude word, isn’t it? It’s that bit of Christmas that most of us love to hate!

I always cook a handful of them on Christmas day, for tradition’s sake; apart from the year when the appalling smell reminded me that I’d forgotten to add water to the pot…

– If you’ve never smelt burnt sprouts I envy you –

I thought that if I never had to eat one again I’d be delighted, until Jamie Oliver started messing about with them a few years ago. Now I positively search out new Sprout recipes and when I read this little one in the BBC Good food magazine, allied with the coincidence of seeing a bag of the first Irish sprouts of the year in the local supermarket, I was determined to try it!

Let’s see if I can convert you!


  • Saucepan and steamer
  • frying pan

INGREDIENTS:                               Sprouts

  • A bag of new Brussels Sprouts, base cut off, outer leaves discarded, cross cut into the base.
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed once against the blade of a knife
  • A sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes
  • Maldon sea salt crystals
  • The zest of a medium lemon , and the juice of half of it.          Whole Lemon Cake (2)


  • Put the prepared sprouts into the steamer basket and steam for about 4- 5 minutes until just tender.
  • Drain and allow to cool a little.
  • Once you can handle them, cut each one in half from top to bottom

Sprouts JPG (2)

  • Heat 2-3 tablespoonfuls of the oil in the frying pan,
  • Add the smashed garlic cloves and cook it until they’re golden but not burnt (about 5 minutes on a medium heat)
  • Remove the garlic, then add the Chilli flakes and salt to the oil.
  • Then carefully place each half sprout, cut-side down, into the oil in an even layer.

Sprouts JPG (3)

  • Leave them there to cook on a medium-high heat for between 5-10 minutes, until they’re well coloured.
  •  Add the all the lemon jest and juice, and toss the sprouts over a couple of times to make sure it’s well mixed through.
  • Pour the contents of the pan into a warmed serving dish.

Sprouts JPG (4)

  • You can keep these in a warm oven for about 15-20 minutes if you need to.


  • It may seem strange to add lemon juice and zest to Brussels Sprouts, but they really make this dish zing. The little bit of heat from the Chilli also makes this recipe so well worth doing.
  • If you need to get a head, you could complete this recipe, pour the whole lot into a dish, then chill it. Just give the sprouts about 5-10 minutes in a hot dry pan to heat it through. You must serve it straight away of you do this.
  • Don’t be tempted to over-do the Chilli – it’s more like an extra layer of flavour rather than burn-your-bake-off hot!

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

Posted in