I never intended to grow sprouts for Christmas this year. Not having got round to building more than one, small brassica net (the pigeons are ravenous for them round here) meant I only had room for kale. But in Autumn some young plants came my way, so I shoehorned a few into gaps left by harvested kale and hoped.
Sprouts like to bask in plenty of earthy space, need to be well firmed in, and preferably given a longer growing season than mine. So it was no surprise that they barely bothered with growing stalks and yielded not a single sprout for Christmas.
But this didn’t mean my efforts were wasted.
At the top of every sprout stalk grows an equally edible mini cabbage-like rosette. And my diminutive plants were happy to oblige with these sprout replicas. So I’ve harvested a few bunches which will get shredded and cooked with the kale, a finely sliced shallot, a drop of vinegar and nob of Christmas left-over clotted cream. So if even you’re a few sprouts short of a full stalk it would be madness to miss out on that kind of treat.