Thoughts are rapidly turning to Christmas lunch and how to make it as friendly as possible. This is a fantastic friendly side dish, incorporating two Christmas classics in one dish (stuffing and sprouts), that is perfect to be included on the festive table whether it features turkey or a vegetarian centre-piece.
Stuffing is always problem for us – so often it contains egg, milk and/or nuts. We could go without, but stuffing is an essential part of a traditional English Christmas lunch, and why should we always go without when a food item is tricky to source! This vegetarian version is particularly tasty, flavoured with both dried and fresh herbs and pepped up with a good dose of Dijon mustard. Any recipe based on breadcrumbs (and by all means use gluten-free if you wish) have a tendency to fall apart if you don’t use eggs. In this instance I’ve used aquafaba (water from a tin of beans) to bind the ingredients, and it does a fantastic job of keeping the little stuffing balls together during cooking.
Brussels sprouts are much maligned but also a real Christmas tradition – to the ridicules extent that my hairdresser said the other week that she can’t stand them but has to have them at Christmas! Bonkers or what? I actually quite like Brussels, but only if they cooked properly – none of this boiling them til they resemmble sludgy little green balls! In this recipe I’ve roasted them alongside the stuffing. It takes no more time and results in wonderfully flavoursome, slightly charred Brussels with no hint of song – give them a go, I reckon you might be a convert too.
In my opinion, these stuffing balls with sprouts, an array of tasty veg and some stunning sauces would make for a perfect veggie spread.
Stuffing and Sprouts
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, can be gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)
Serves 2 as a centre-piece, 4 as a side
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 sage leaf, finely chopped
1/4 tsp herbs de Provence
1/4 cup mushrooms, very finely chopped ( approx 1 medium mushroom)
Small handful parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsps aquafaba
- Fry the onions in a little oil until softened, add the herbs and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened. Season.
- Mix in the breadcrumbs, dijon mustard and aquafaba and set aside to cool.
- Roll into neat balls and place in the fridge to firm up.
- To cook, preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Halve the sprouts and toss them and the stuffing balls in a little oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes until cooked throu and starting to turn golden brown.
- Serve with all the usual Christmas trimmings.