Is there any vegetable more crucial to the Christmas dinner than the humble but unfortunately high FODMAP Brussels sprout? Even those who dislike sprouts see it as vital that there should be sprouts on the table. I am, or was, a great sprout lover but a low-FODMAP safe serving is a measly 2 sprouts. I was left with the riddle of how to make my duo of sprouts go further and seem like I was eating more. Challenge accepted.
Pancetta is a great partner to sprouts; the courgette can bulk up the greenery without overwhelming the sprout flavour. By shredding the sprouts lengthways the leaves should stay together enough to stay recognisable as sprouts. There is a joke about people who put their Christmas sprouts on to boil in October so all you have is a smelly mush. This dish is the antithesis of that meme: it takes minutes to make and can be thrown together just before serving. You can see how quickly it comes together in this video.
Serves 6 as a side dish
Prep – 15 minutes
1 tbsp. olive oil
140g diced pancetta
200g courgette diced into 5mm pieces
12 sprouts, sliced thinly lengthways
3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Warm the olive oil in a wide lidded pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and fry for 3 – 3 ½ minutes, stirring often, until the fat is a golden brown and starting to render down. Throw in the sprouts and courgettes and gently turn over so as not to break up the sprouts.
Add 3 tbsp. of water cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the butter, turn over again and remove from the heat. Gently stir in the parsley and pepper. Remove to a warm serving dish.