This is the only way to eat Brussels sprouts: crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside with extra crunch from the sesame seed addition. I am not a huge sprout lover, but I am a massive fan of these, especially dolloped with a bit of mayo.
300–400g Brussels sprouts
olive oil, for cooking
sprinkle of white sesame seeds
salt and pepper, to taste
For the garlic mayonnaise:
100g plant mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, grated
juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Peel the outer layer of the sprouts and give them a good wash. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the sprouts and parboil for 10 minutes until semi-soft.
Careful the sprouts don’t turn a dull green which means they have been overcooked. Drain well.
Line a large baking tray (pan) with baking parchment, then spread the Brussels sprouts over the parchment. Make sure the sprouts have enough space in between and flatten them
with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a drinking glass until they are as flat as possible.
You might find that some water comes out of the sprouts when you flatten them, so soak up any excess water with paper towel.
Drizzle the sprouts with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and sesame seeds, then pop in the oven for 10–15 minutes until brown.
Remove the tray from the oven, turn the sprouts, sprinkle with more sesame seeds and pop back in the oven for a further 10 minutes. You want the sprouts to be golden and crispy!
While the sprouts are cooking, mix all the ingredients for the mayonnaise together in a bowl and set aside.
Once the sprouts are golden, remove from the oven and eat immediately while they are super crispy, dipping them in the garlic mayo.
Herbed crostinis with leek and tahini dip
Have you ever wondered what to do with your leeks? Let me introduce you to the sweetest, creamiest dip ever. I use stalks and all when I cook down leeks and slow cooking them introduces a sweetness that is hard to beat. This will become your staple, I promise.
1 baguette, sliced into rounds, or 4–6 slices of sourdough, cut in half
For the leek and tahini dip:
3–4 tablespoons olive oil
4 dates, pitted and torn
3–4 tablespoons tahini
2 teaspoons ground sumac
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
For the green oil:
30 g (1 oz) flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
3 tablespoons olive oil
baby gem lettuce leaves (optional)
handful of pine nuts
olive oil, to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then place in basin of warm water and wash between the layers until fully clean.
Thinly slice the leeks, green parts and all, and add to a large saucepan with the olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Fry the leeks over a high heat for 5 minutes, then turn down to a medium heat for a further 15–20 minutes.
While the leeks are cooking, put all the ingredients for the green oil in a food processor or blender and whizz until combined. You can also use a hand-held blender for this.
Take the sliced baguette/sourdough, spread some green oil on each piece and place on a baking tray (pan).
When the leeks are ready, add to a food processor or blender, along with the dates, tahini, sumac and lemon juice, and pulse to make a chunky dip.
Bake the herbed garlic bread in the oven for 5–10 minutes, or until nicely crisped.
Arrange the bread around the outside of a nice platter and place the dip in the middle. You can also add some baby gem lettuce as a dipping option alongside the bread.
Top the leek dip with some pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.
Celebrate: Plant-based recipes for every occasion by Bettina Campolucci-Bordi (£20, Hardie Grant Books) is out now.