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Sprouts with Caramelised Garlic and Lemon






4 Garlic heads, cloves separated and peeled
50ml Olive oil
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
50g Caster sugar
90ml Water
Sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper
1 Lemon
600g Brussel sprouts
1 Red chilli, finely chopped
50g Parmesan shavings (or vegetarian alternative)
20g Basil leaves, shredded


1. Put the garlic in a pan, cover with water and blanch for three minutes and then drain

2. Next dry the pan, pour in two tbsp of oil and return the garlic to the pan, frying on a high heat for two minutes until golden all over.

3. Add the vinegar, a tbsp of sugar, 90ml of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, until barely any liquid is left, just the caramelised cloves in a syrup - set aside.

4. Use a vegetable peeler to shave off the lemon rind, avoiding the the white pith. Cut the strips into 1mm-2mm thick slices and put in a small pan. Squeeze the lemon into a measuring jug and add water to bring the juice up to 100ml. Pour over the strips of peel, add the remaining sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the syrup is reduced to about a third. Set aside to cool down.

5. Trim the bases off the sprouts and cut them top to bottom into halves. Heat four tbsp of oil in a large, heavy-based pan, add half the sprouts, season and cook on high heat for five minutes, stirring them once or twice, but not too often, so that they char well without breaking up, add extra oil if needed. They will soften but retain some firmness. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining oil and sprouts.

6. Stir the chilli, the garlic and its syrup into the sprouts, and set aside until warmish. Stir in the parmesan, basil and peel (without the syrup), season and add oil if necessary.

7. Serve as it is or at room temperature.