Brussels sprouts Aisling Larkin six o clock show newstalk

Preparing your vegetables in advance can be one of the most efficient and time saving tips you will get this Christmas. Sprouts are just synonymous with Christmas Dinner and for me the best tip is serving them up beautiful, vibrant and green to the table. In order to achieve this there is a simple culinary technique which you can apply to your sprouts and all your vegetables and honestly you will never look back. 

The method is called Blanch and Refresh. So hotels and restaurants will do this all the time. It means you prepare in advance and just heat and serve with great efficiency on the day. 

So how do we do it… so peel and chop them. Parboil them, this means bring you water to the boil, add a little salt and pop your vegetables in and boil them rapidly for 5/6 minutes. As they boil get out your colander and place a big bowl in the sink. Fill the bowl with lots of ice and top it up with cold water. After 6 minutes strain the vegetables in the colander and plunge them into the ice cold water. This will cool them down rapidly, keep them with a bit of bite and maintain that beautiful vibrant colour of the vegetables. 

Pop them in a bowl or a plastic container, put some damp kitchen paper over the top and they are perfect and ready for reheat, sauté or roast the next day.

For these Brussels sprouts I love to heat some butter in the pan, toss in the salami or smoked streaky bacon and fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Then top them with hazelnuts and serve them the table. Enjoy. 

Aisling Signature
Brussels sprouts Aisling Larkin six o clock show newstalk

Crispy Bacon & Hazelnut Brussel Sprouts

Buttery, crispy and nutty this is my only way to eat Brussels sprouts.
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Side Dish
brussel sprouts
brussels sprouts
festive sides
newstalk festive sides
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 400 g Brussel sprouts
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 4 streaky bacon rashers
  • 80 g chopped hazelnuts



  • Shred the Brussel sprouts, or parboil for 8 minutes and then plunge into ice cold
  • water.
  • Finely dice the bacon and garlic. Sauté them with the bacon and garlic in the warmed
  • oil and butter for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with chopped hazelnuts.