One thing I like about getting a weekly veg box delivery (from Riverford) is being able to show number one son items that I wouldn’t normally pick up in the supermarket. About 18 months ago he went through a Mr Bloom’s Nursery obsession and we were able to present aubergine, squash and cabbage on his plate as though they were old favourites (look it’s Sebastian!). The benefits of the one-eyed baby-sitter, yes, but he’s pretty open to unusual flavours. I’m yet to meet many other 4 year olds who’ll happily chomp on mushrooms and olives.
Now it’s winter we’ve already had our first bag of Brussels sprouts and I’m expecting it won’t be the last. No matter how I dress up the Brussels sprout as a baby cabbage – he doesn’t actually like the taste of them. They are definitely an acquired taste.
So the night before our next veg box is to be delivered is usually ‘use up all of last week’s veg’ night. I concocted a bubble and squeak mix from a bit of leftover butternut squash, a whole bag of Brussels and the last two potatoes – plus some chorizo. As part of a mix, the sprouts had a much milder flavour and became more palatable for His Lordship. The only complaint from the boy was I’d left the squash skin on and he found that a bit chewy (then guess who had to pick out the rest?). You could use roasted carrot and parsnip to replace the squash, and leave out the chorizo if you wanted a veggie version.
(makes 6 cakes)
One bag of Brussels (400-500g), boiled till tender
¼ small butternut squash (about 300g), chopped into cubes (peeled if serving to fussy 4 year olds)
1 red onion, chopped into wedges
3 garlic cloves, skin left on
Sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
100g chorizo, roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes – cooked and mashed
Preheat the oven to 210C and tip the squash cubes into a roasting tin, with the onion and the garlic and the herbs. Coat in a glug of olive oil, toss so it’s all coated then roast for 30-40 minutes till tender and mushy.
Finely chop the cooked Brussels and mix in with the mashed potato in a large mixing bowl. Add the roasted squash along with the onion and the garlic cloves squeezed from their skins.
Take a large frying pan and dry fry the chorizo till it starts to release its oil.
Add the chorizo to the potato mix (leaving the chorizo oil in the pan). Mix thoroughly – use a masher if the squash needs breaking down a bit more.
Shape into patties, this amount will make 6 medium-sized cakes.
Fry in the pan adding a little more olive oil to the chorizo juices.
Serve the bubble and squeak cakes with poached eggs and if you must, some rocket (or cucumber for the littlies).