200g brussel sprouts, 1 artichoke, basil oil, 1 lemon
Serves: 4 Preparation: 45 minutes
Brussel sprouts came into season yesterday and I am determined to bring sexy back to these underrated teeny cabbages. Growing up most of us associate Christmas lunch with being forced to eat soggy, bitter sprouts but done well, sprouts can be an indulgent treat. I love them served with artichokes, drenched in lemon juice and glossy basil oil.
1) To prepare the artichoke vinaigrette: Break the stem of the artichoke as close to the base as you can, then put the artichoke head first into a pan of hot, salted water and keep it submerged with an upturned pan lid (or plate). It will take 20-30 minutes to cook until tender - test the base with a knife - if it goes in smoothly it's ready! Slice the artichoke leaves and mix into equal parts of basil oil and lemon juice.
2) Brussel sprouts take exactly 6 minutes to cook - it's important to cook them from as fresh as possible and to check for any that smell bitter so you can discard them. Peel off any leaves that look scarred or old and then drop the sprouts into boiling, salted water.
3) Once cooked, stir the artichoke into the sprouts and serve.