Purple Sprouting broccoli in Spring
The broccoli seeds were sown in small pots indoors last April. Once germinated I kept them in the greenhouse until they were planted outside in July. It may seem a long wait but it is certainly worth it. When there are no other fresh vegetables in the garden in March and April it is great to have this new crop. It is best to cut the top flowering head from the main stem. This allows for more sprouting. There is nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked purple sprouting broccoli.
It is at its very best when cooked within the hour of being picked. I like it simply steamed or put in boiling salted water for 3/4 minutes until tender.
It can also used in many Pasta dishes, in gratins and is a great addition to a stir-fry.
As a tasty alternative to boiled or steamed broccoli a simple crumb could be scattered on top.
Heat a little olive oil and butter in a pan. Add white breadcrumbs and a little chopped herbs and fry over a hot heat until crisp and golden. Put in a bowl and when cool add some grated Parmesan. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Put broccoli in salted boiling water for 3/4 mins. Drain in sieve. Add a little olive oil to pan and but back broccoli back in the pan. Once heated, place in a serving dish and scatter with the crumb mixture. Add lemon wedges and serve immediately