Harry Styles: best known as the member of One Direction with the ponytail, he's now the former One Directioner with the highly-anticipated album and potential song of the summer. He is also very likely the subject of a Taylor Swift song or two. But for all the things we associate with Styles, arbiter of food trends is not one — yet.
Recently, while cohosting BBC radio's Friday morning show, Styles revealed that not only does he love Brussels sprouts, he thinks they're the new kale. Naturally, Twitter erupted with people arguing both pro- and anti-Sprouts (as well as someone introducing the very repellant idea of Brussels sprouts smoothies). Now, to be fair to Styles, this was part of a two-hour morning show, and he might have been running out of things to say. After all, if someone asked us questions about food after a few hours of having to banter around today's top hits, we might blurt out a prediction that, soon, Loch Ness monster-themed food will overtake mermaid toast. Whether Styles truly believes sprouts will overtake kale is another question, because the true revelation was how Styles eats his sprouts.
He says that he likes them "a couple different ways," volunteering first and foremost he likes them "in a curry." He also likes them sautéed, though his technique for that isn't revealed, since here the DJ immediately guesses that he does it with "a bit of red onion, and garlic?" Styles affably agrees, though it almost sounds like he's just asserting that sprouts, cooked with garlic, are delicious. (No arguments there!)
I obviously wanted to recreate Styles' favorite way to eat his trend forecast. But, first, I had to guess what he meant. Brussels sprouts in curry yields plenty of search results online, although most involved cooking with curry spices for more of a dry roast. Styles' wording, "in a curry," on the other hand, seemed to imply a sauce.
I sought out the aid of a British expat who immediately pointed us to Patak's Original Simmer Sauce, with the kind of authority an American might use to show you Heinz ketchup if asked "What do you dip these deep-fried potato spears in?" She even knew immediately where to track down a bottle stateside. It was time to get cooking.
Since "in a curry" was pretty much the entire explanation the Styles gave for his sprouts dish, improvisation was key. I started out by sautéing some garlic in a generous amount of olive oil, then adding some halved sprouts. After getting a good sear on both sides, I glugged on some of the jarred curry sauce and simmered them until tender, about five minutes.
The verdict? The side took just a couple minutes to make, and was really good. Like most vegetables, Brussels sprouts are a great vehicle for all kinds of spices and flavorings, and using a pre-made sauce made it very, very easy to do that. Is it a good enough recipe to dethrone kale as the ruler of all vegetable trends? That's a little bit less clear, though we would also argue that sprouts have been on a reputation rehabilitation tour for a few years now, and are thus unlikely to take the title of "new" anything. Then again, we'd take a sprout simmered in curry by Harry Styles over a kale smoothie any day.
And Harry, if you actually make this a different way (and somehow happen to be reading this post), get in touch — we'd love to try that, too.
Brussels Sprouts a la Harry Styles a la Marshall Bright
Serves 2-4, as a side
1 bag Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
Patak's Original Simmer Sauce in curry flavor of your choice
1. Coat the bottom of a medium-sized pan on high in a generous amount of olive oil. After the oil starts to shimmer, turn heat to medium and add garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
2. Add the sprouts, tossing to coat in the olive oil. Allow them to cook 5-7 min on each side, undisturbed, long enough to brown.
3. After the sprouts are nicely browned, add the simmer sauce and reduce to low. Cook for another 5 minutes, and serve immediately, preferably while listening to "Sign Of The Times."
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