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Elegant Eating from Downton Abbey: Lady Crawley Sprouts in Spiced Butter

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When you watch Downton Abbey, you are witnessing the magic of an era (albeit fictionalized). You are seeing the artistocracy of this time and in a very real way, the way these types lived during the Edwardian era -- from the costumes to the food. This dish was created with them in mind and especially the character of Violet Crawley, played to perfection by Dame Maggie Smith.

Our goal was a dish Violet Crawley would love. A dish only available to the artistocats, due to the ingredients and their price point during this era. The dish had to be strictly British and strictly rich and this dish is indeed both!

From the manor garden you have Brussels sprouts. From the English countryside dairies you have creamery fresh butter. From the, at the time, English controlled areas of the Far East you have the spices. Put them together and you have a dish that would even make Violet Crawley smile!

For more on the food of Downton Abbey, visit the free Facebook page called The Food of Downton Abbey!

Ingredients needed to make Lady Crawley Sprouts in Spiced Butter (serves 4):

  • 8 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. With a sharp paring knife remove the cores from the Brussels sprouts and remove and discard any discolored outer leaves. Shred the sprouts by thinly slicing them in any direction.
  2. In a medium saucepan of boiling water add the Brussels sprouts and cook 5 minutes. Drain the sprouts and discard the cooking liquid.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts into a serving bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients, toss to coat and then serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.