Brussels sprouts with shallots alternate bright green baby brassicas with caramel-glazed shallots for a glossy, attractive side dish.
Shallots are related to onions, but they’re actually from a different plant. For this recipe we recommend using brown shallots. This is because they have a lovely mild flavour and they are the perfect size and shape to compliment the sprouts. Pink shallots would be fine too – they have a slightly stronger taste but still caramelise well. Banana shallots (the long, oval ones) are actually a cross of shallots and onions. They also have a stronger taste, and tend to be larger (though often much easier to peel if you need a quick option). This recipe is great for vegetarians, but for a meaty alternative try this classic Brussels sprouts recipe from Gordon Ramsay.
- 100g (4oz) small shallots, peeled with roots left intact
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 225g (8oz) Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large pan until frothy, add the shallots and toss well. Sprinkle with the sugar and stir gently until dissolved. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 8-10 mins until the sugar caramelises and the shallots are tender, adding 1-2 tbsp water if the caramel starts to stick to the pan before the shallots are cooked.
Meanwhile bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the prepared sprouts. Cover and cook for 5-7 mins until tender. Drain well and add to the caramelised shallots. Season and combine well to coat the sprouts. Serve immediately.
Top tips for making Brussels sprouts with shallots
If you’re preparing a lot of shallots - say, if you’re doubling the size of this recipe - here’s a hack for peeling them quickly. Put them in a bowl and cover them completely with boiling water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then you should find the skin peels off easily.
Pick small shallots if you can, so they are the same size as the sprouts. Keeping the roots in place means they hold their shape better while cooking, and the whole thing is edible.