This recipe uses edible weeds, flick back to last week for a little edible weeds guide.
This is a hardy, delicious and decadent salad. It uses our stored potatoes (harvested last Autumn), brussels sprouts and the very underrated but delicious brussels sprout tops for a pesto. In addition to other bits from the farm and a bit from the wild. We are all about the brussels sprouts right now.
Seasons don't work in the nicely divided "4 seasons" you see in books. Technically it's spring, but we are still back in winter - harvesting the last of our brussels sprouts and eating our stored potatoes. Living on and from the land, you release that seasons just don't work in a block of 4 nicely divided seasons. It's different week to week, year to year and our side of the river to the other side of the river. You really have to watch.
This year we have steered clear of the traditional "sprout and bacon" recipes and went for something a bit more "us". This is our favourite of the lot. A hardy, delicious salad - with a thick and rich pesto, utilising all of the brussels sprout plant. We shared this particular bowl of salad with two other friends, with some red wine and bits and pieces of cheese and crackers. It went down well.
There was only one problem with this recipe - while in the making and capturing it, Matt ate probably 1/4 of it. Because he couldn't keep his fingers away. A note to Matt: stay away from my salad.
For all of you in the southern hemisphere (where we are) now's the time to place a little load of potatoes out in the sunshine in a rain protected spot to sprout. A sunny window works great. Before long you'll see lots of little green leaves popping out all over the place and they'll be ready to plant out in Oct/Nov - the perfect time.
For those in the northern hemisphere it's harvest time! Time to bring in the new season's harvest and store them away in a cool dry place to enjoy all through to next Spring.
On Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are an awesome plant for the Winter garden. For the best success always make sure you plant seeds into seedling trays the week leading up to Christmas day in the southern hemisphere or toward the end of June in the northern hemisphere.
This means your plants will be nice and big before the cold weather sets in in Autumn and your sprouts will be enormous. We think the leaves of the sprout plants are just as excellent to eat as the sprouts themselves, so this recipe uses both.
Serves 4 as a main // Time 30 mins
- 1 clove garlic finely chopped (or if all your garlic has sprouted, one garlic shoot)
- 1 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped wild wood sorrel
- 1 cup Brussels sprout leaves
- 1/2 cup of almonds
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- 1kg Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 kg potatoes diced into 1cm cubes skins on
- 1 dried chilli
- Olive oil
- 1/2 cup of grated manchego or parmesan cheese.
- Toasted almonds
- Olive oil
- Extra cheese
- Wood sorrel
- Get a pot of salty water boiling (salty like the sea!)
- Add the Brussels sprouts tops and cook for 2-3 minutes until soft, remove leaves and keep salty water aside (you will need it in a minute).
- While the vegetables are cooking, blend together all the pesto ingredients, but leave it a bit chunky (it should be thick).
- Set aside
- Get the pot of salty water boiling!
- Add the Brussels sprouts and potatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes until just under-cooked
- Strain vegetables and cut the Brussels sprouts in half, separating from potatoes at the same time. Don't worry if you miss any little sprouts.
- Heat a glug of olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan and add the chilli, and garlic.
- When fragrant, add potatoes and fry for 5 minutes without too much stirring until they begin to show some nice browning.
- Add halved sprouts, a little more olive oil and a pinch of salt, stir through and cook with the lid on for 1 minute. Don't stir again.
- Turn heat off, gently stir through pesto and grated cheese.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with toasted almonds, a sprinkle of cheese, a glug of olive oil and some wood sorrel leaves/flowers.