Maple-roast Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and garlic

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a side dish
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes


By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

This dish is perfect with the Christmas meal, or, in fact, any celebratory gathering. These days it’s fairly easy to get vacuum-packed prepared chestnuts – simple to use and with a long shelf-life, they make things a lot easier. You may want to prepare them yourselves, but one freezing winter in London I just found myself a roasted chestnut seller and bought some from him, already shelled – such men are rare now, but are well worth supporting. If you don’t have maple syrup, try a mixture of dark honey and muscovado or another dark sugar – you want a little sweetness, but not too much. Just remember to keep pure maple syrup in the fridge once opened, as it will go off at room temperature.


  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • 400 g Brussels sprouts
  • 200 g vacuum-packed chestnuts, separated
  • 60 g butter
  • 10 cm rosemary stem (or use sage, oregano or thyme)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 150 ml hot water


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Place the garlic in a large saucepan and cover with 2 litres of cold water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the Brussels sprouts of any bad leaves and trim the bases, then score a cross into each, penetrating to about 4mm.

Add the sprouts to the boiling garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chestnuts, count to 20 and then drain everything.

Spread the butter over the base of a roasting dish and place the rosemary in it, then tip the vegetables on top. Drizzle with the maple syrup, season with flaky salt and lots of ground pepper and add the hot water. Seal the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Take the foil off, mix it all up and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, then mix once more.