Love: Hemsley+Hemsley Sprout Pops

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The new book Good + Simple by the super glamorous Hemsley sisters has popped onto my desk and the first page I opened it on had me squealing with glee. It’s a recipe for Coconut Roasted Sprout Pops with Gomashio. Yeh, yeh, forget the coconut and Gomashio bit – they’re basically doing sprouts on sticks – joy oh joy oh joy (repeat ad infinitum).

I’m not sure why this has pleased me so much other than it’s another option when it comes to eating a veg that is seriously good for you  (see my post on many other things to do with sprouts for more ideas). I’m aware that sprouts are a love hate thing – I have a sprouty sweet spot – if they aren’t cooked enough I can’t bear them, if there too mushy I’m not a fan. My patented sprout cooking technique involves me seeing if I can cut them with a spoon – the point when I can just do it is the right point for me. (NB: This is why no-one is offering me a cook book deal any day soon). Anyway, the Hemsley’s are also sprout fans but the reason they do have a cookbook deal is that they can impart useful bits of advice like the diference it makes if you try roasting them in coconut oil saying

“The natural sweetness of the coconut counterbalances any bitterness in the sprouts – while the roasting process sweetens it further with some light caramelisation.”

In other words – coconut oil makes sprouts yummy! On top of that, the method to make Sprout Pops couldn’t be easier…

  1. Preheat the oven to fan 200C/Gas Mark 7 and add the coconut oil to a large roasting tin and place in the oven to allow the oil to melt
  2. Slice of the end of the sprouts and remove any brown or yellow leaves. Remove the roasting tin from the oven, add the sprouts and very carefully, toss them in the hot coconut oil.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes, then remove any that are starting to caramelise. Stir the remainder and roast for a further 3-5 minutes when done.
  4. You then serve them in a dish with cocktail sticks, spear each sprout with a stick and dip them in your condiment/dip of choice

In the Hemsley’s case this is gomashio which is a Japanese condiment made from ground sesame seeds and salt which gives them a yummy crunchy coat rather like savoury sprinkles (you’ll need to buy the book to get the recipe for that) but you could use a little garlic butter, salsa, sour cream or whatever it takes to get you eating the sprouts and using the sticks.

But it’s not just the sticky sprouts that I like about the book. The premise of Good+Simple is that good food doesn’t have to be complicated – and, as the sprout recipe shows they’re definitely fulfilling the brief. I admit there’s still a lot of ingredients in a lot of the recipes, but they’ve really pushed the boat out when it comes to creating some intriguing ideas. I’ve spotted a porridge made from butternut squash, pancakes made from chestnut flour (what the heck is chestnut flour? – I thought I knew this stuff), scrambled eggs with lime, beetroot mash, an amazing looking celeriac and kale carbonara and a healthy fish finger coated with almonds.

Well done ladies – I admit that most of the healthy cookbooks that have plopped on my desk recently have looked lovely but have also felt like ‘same ideas, same ingredients, different person on the cover’ – but you’ve impressed me and that takes some doing…..Now, I just need to get my butt in the kitchen and actually make some of the yumminess myself.

If you want to find the full recipe, it’s on pages 94-95 of the new Hemsley and Hemsley book Good + Simple out now and published by Ebury Press.

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