Poached Brussels Sprouts on a Parsnip Bed

  • 1lb parsnips
  • 3-4 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 3/4 chicken or vegetable stock
  • freshly grated nutmeg

Peel the parsnips, cut them up roughly and steam or boil until soft. Extract the seeds from the cardamom pods, then grind finely in a coffee grinder with the coriander seeds. Put a dry frying-pan over a fairly low heat, add the ground spices and stir for a minute, then add half the butter. Stir until melted and remove from the heat. Purée the parsnips in a food processor with the spiced, melted butter and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Spread the parsnip purée in a large, round and shallow serving dish, bringing it up slightly around the edge. Loosely cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven.

Trim the sprouts if necessary and slice thinly lengthways. Peel the garlic and slice thinly crossways. Heat the remaining butter and stock in a pan over a medium heat. When the mixture is bubbling, add the sprouts and garlic. Cover and simmer for three to four minutes, until the sprouts are bright green and tender. Remove the lid and stir the sprouts around over a higher heat until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, taste and season if needed. Spoon the sprouts on the parsnip purée, leaving it showing round the side. Grate a generous amount of nutmeg over the sprouts and serve at once.

The parsnips can be cooked in advance and reheated and the sprouts take only a few minutes to cook, at the last moment.

Advertisements