Brussel Sprouts with Cashew Cream
Cook Time 20 minutes + soaking time
155g (1 cup) cashew nuts
1 garlic clove, bruised and peeled
250ml (1 cup) chicken stock
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
750g Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
150g Guanciale or pancetta, ﬁnely chopped
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus extra to serve
Zest & juice ½ Lemon
Salt & pepper
This is such a ﬂavourful and hearty vegetable dish that’s made even better with the addition of a little cured pork. And cooking the brussel sprouts twice transforms them into irresistible little gems. I also like to make this for my vegetarian and vegan friends: simply omit the guanciale or pancetta, fry the brussels sprouts in olive oil instead of fat and serve with chopped, toasted salted cashews.
Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 2–3 hours to soften.
Add the garlic, stock and olive oil to a sauté pan and bring to the boil. Add the brussels sprouts, turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 5–6 minutes until the brussels sprouts are just tender, but still slightly firm in the centre, and have absorbed the flavour of the oil and stock. Reserve the garlic and 3 tablespoons of stock and drain the brussels sprouts.
Wipe the sauté pan clean, add the guanciale or pancetta, then turn the heat to medium (do not preheat the pan as you want the fat to slowly render) and cook until it starts to sizzle. Give the pan a shake and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until crispy and the fat has rendered. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the guanciale or pancetta and place on a paper towel to drain, leaving the fat in the pan.
Heat the fat in the pan over high heat, then add the brussels sprouts and cook for 5–10 minutes to caramelise.
Drain the cashews and add to a small blender along with the paprika, lemon zest and juice, the reserved garlic and stock and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, mix in a little warm water.
Spread the cashew cream on a plate and top with the brussels sprouts and crispy guanciale or pancetta. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and an extra sprinkle of paprika.
Slow Cooker Method
Follow step 1.
Place the brussels sprouts in the slow cooker along with the garlic, stock, olive oil and salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high for 1–1 1/2 hours or on low for 3 hours, or until the brussels sprouts are just tender but still slightly firm in the centre when pierced with a knife. Use a slotted spoon to remove the brussels sprouts from the slow cooker; reserve the garlic and 3 tablespoons of stock.
Follow steps 3–6.