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Sprout Tops Anyone?

December 3, 2011

I am trying to hang on to the allotment sprouts for Christmas lunch. I have to confess that I didn’t plant them, all the glory goes to Charlotte who put them in, covered the bed with netting, and forgot about them. There they have stood for the last five months with no attention from anyone and they look pretty healthy if a bit on the small side. With my red cabbage they will be perfect for Christmas lunch (it’s a shame I ate my pot grown carrots last week although feeding ten might have been a challenge).  The tops of sprouts are really pretty – I considered putting them in a vase to meet my cut flower challenge.  But I’d rather eat them, they are delicious cooked as greens, and particularly good in a stir-fry.

Recipe for 2

Wash 3 sprout tops and shake them dry then shred into strips.

Heat 2 tblsps of oil in a wok.

Add a crushed garlic clove and 1 tsp of shredded fresh ginger and cook for I minute.

Add the shredded sprout tops, they may splutter in the hot oil, and stir fry for two minutes.

When they have wilted add a splash of soya sauce and serve.

Week 5 of cutting flowers from the garden and I am rather pleased with this glass vase bought last week in a charity shop for £2. I filled it with Japanese anemones, Vinca major otherwise known as periwinkle which has lovely fresh green leaves and a pretty blue flower, more Ornithogalum and Arum italicum pictum. This last one might save the day since it will be looking spectacular throughout winter. I am  getting a bit nervous about my challenge although I spotted one hellebore about to burst into flower. If nothing else it has made me really aware for the first time of the need for leaf and flower interest for this time of year.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2011 12:27 pm

    My chickens would help you out with those – they love eating greens! Have you tried the purple brussel sprouts ? I imagine they would look very effective in an arrangement too – especially mixed up with some red or orange.

    • December 3, 2011 12:54 pm

      I plan to try purple brussel sprouts next year. Given the lack of attention these got I might devote half the allotment to them!

  2. December 4, 2011 2:50 pm

    I’m growing purple brussel sprouts, Tozer I think. Very beautiful to look at but I planted them out quite late so I only have very tiny sprouts at the moment. The tops are very beautiful – will it harm the plant to cut the tops off and eat them, do you think? I like the sound of your recipe!

    • December 4, 2011 3:19 pm

      I am experimenting. Having cut the sprout top in the photo I wait to see if the sprouts on the stalk will continue to grow. I grew sprouts last year and they remained small (or I was impatient and picked them too early). But this crop looks bigger already possibly because they went in at the beginning of summer.

      • December 4, 2011 3:33 pm

        Normally I’d experiment but this is the first year I’ve grown brussels so I’d be very disappointed if they stopped growing! Let us know what happens to your plants; my guess is that if you cut the top growth off, the plant’s energy will go into the sprouts – but it’s just a guess!

      • December 4, 2011 7:27 pm

        It’s a good guess like pinching out the top growth on flowers to provoke more down the stem. I’ll let you know!

  3. December 4, 2011 8:39 pm

    You can get some lovely vases from charity shops. I love using jam jars as well, the simpler the better, lets the flowers stand out. You’ve still got Japanese anemones, lucky you. I’ve still got some flowers struggling on but they are getting few and far between.

    • December 5, 2011 1:39 pm

      The Japanese anemone were planted about two months ago and are producing lots of flower heads. I suspect they were planted in pots in early summer then brought on in a greenhouse and now are showing their delight at being in the ground.

  4. December 8, 2011 2:32 pm

    I’m persevering with the cut flower challenge, but it is involving a lot of foraging in field and wood. I will really be giving a lot of thought to what winter interest I can squeeze into my little courtyard garden next year!

    • December 8, 2011 2:50 pm

      Hi Annie

      Yes it is a challenge and will be very much so over the next eight weeks for me. Be prepared for a lot of ever-green!!! BUT I am making notes and thinking of plants I can squeeze in that will provide more interest next December and January.

      Sue x

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