We went to Eden Court last month to listen to Ray Mears talk. For those of you who don’t know him, Mears is a bush-craft expert with a TV programme which I’ve never actually seen. In his show, apparently, he goes to remote, inhospitable places and learns from locals how eat when you’ve got no food and make/find shelter when you’ve got no roof. He was a pretty interesting guy to listen to.
Towards the end of the night Mears took questions from the audience. Expecting an answer of “maggot stew”, “yak testicles” or “dung-beetle kebab”, a very excited young lad asked, “What’s the most awful thing you’ve ever eaten?”
“Brussel sprouts,” said Ray Mears.
Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad (adapted from The Flavour Thesaurus)
A very thick slice of country bread, torn into pieces
A big handful of baby Brussel sprouts or normal ones halved
2 rashers of back bacon, chopped roughly
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 spring onions, chopped roughly
1 tspn balsalmic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 190oC. Add the sprouts and torn bread to a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven for 12 mins until bread is golden and sprouts are soft and coloured.
- Meanwhile, add the bacon bits to a small hot frying pan with a tiny amount of oil. Cook until crispy then add the garlic and spring onions. Cook for another couple of minutes then remove from pan. Add the vinegar, a splash of water and some pepper to the frying pan and let bubble for a moment.
- Mix the sprouts, bread, bacon etc in a bowl and dress with the juices from the pan.