Incredible Rosemary Moon cooks PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLILast update: 16.04.14 First posted: 16.04.14 by Estelle in What's Cooking In Tod?
Easy ideas for making this spring veg the star of your cooking.
More wonderful moonbite treats.
BROCCOLI WITH BLUE CHEESE & CHILLIES
The quantities for this delicious warm salad starter depend on your appetite.
Purple sprouting broccoli: young, tender shoots
Garlic, red chillies and some nuts of your choice (cob nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and pine nuts all work well)
A blue cheese, like Cashel, Blacksticks or Shropshire Blue
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Trim the broccoli and split any slightly thicker stalks. Finely chop some garlic and red chilli and roughly chop some nuts. Fork some cheese into small rough pieces.
2 Steam the broccoli until just tender. At the same time, heat a small frying pan, add a little oil, then add the garlic and chile, off the heat. Cook gently for a minute or two without browning, then add the nuts and remove from the heat.
3 Arrange the broccoli on individual plates and add the cheese. Top with the chilli, garlic and nut mix, a little salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
PASTA WITH BROCCOLI & GOAT’S CHEESE Serves 4
Use a soft, creamy cheese for this: a fresh goat’s or sheep’s cheese is best, or you could even use cream cheese (but enliven it with some black pepper or nutmeg).
1 large red pepper
300g dried pasta of your choice
250g prepared purple sprouting broccoli
Knob of butter
100g creamy cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 Quarter, seed then finely slice the pepper. Roughly chop the PSB.
2 Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water as directed on the packet.
3 Add the PSB to the pasta for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the pasta and PSB in a colander.
4 Melt the butter in the pan and cook the pepper briefly for 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese to the pan in small spoonfuls, then the pasta and broccoli and toss everything together over the heat, to reheat the pasta and melt the cheese. Season well, and grate a little nutmeg over the pasta before serving.
RICE NOODLE SALAD WITH BROCCOLI Serves 4
This might look complicated but it is really just a great way of making a very different salad from some broccoli. Add some diced chunks of cucumber and raw carrot sticks if you wish.
1-2 red chillies
75g roasted peanuts
5tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 stalk lemon grass
Purple sprouting broccoli – as much as you have (see above)
250g rice noodles
6 spring onions
Crisp lettuce to serve
1 Prepare the sauce. Roughly chop the shallots, chillies (remove to seeds), lemon grass and peanuts then then blend to a thick paste with the coconut cream and about half the water. Heat the oil, add the turmeric and cook briefly then add the paste and the remaining water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
2 Roughly chop the broccoli then steam over a pan of water for 3-5 minutes, until just tender – do this in a colander if you don’t have a steamer. Set to one side. Boil the water again, break up the noodles, add them to the water and leave to stand for 5 mins then drain and rinse in cold water. (They may go slightly green, but that’s ok!)
3 Finely slice the spring onions and any additional salad veg that you want to add.
4 Drain the noodles and shake dry. Add to the broccoli and any extra veg and sauce and mix well. Season and serve warm on a bed of shredded lettuce.
AVOCADO WITH EGGS & BROCCOLI Serves 2
Inspired by a delicious dish of avocado with chopped hard-boiled eggs and loads of parsley, I have added the PSB in this version in place of the herb. A great dish to make with just a handful of broccoli spears, towards the end of the season when the greenery is less abundant and the shoots are small. Buy firm avocados and ripen them at home – be patient and they will reward you in texture and flavour – lightly press just the top (stalk end) to see if they are ready.
A small handful of purple sprouting broccoli spears
2 large eggs
1 large ripe but firm avocado
1 Steam the broccoli until tender – this might take 3-8 minutes depending on size. Boil the eggs for 4 minutes in the water below the broccoli while it is cooking.
2 Set the broccoli to one side, then drain the eggs, rinse them in cold water and crack the shells. Peel the eggs as soon as they are cool enough to handle – it is easier when they are warm.
3 Reserve 2 sprouts of broccoli for garnish, then finely chop the rest. Finely chop the eggs too. Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Scoop out the flesh and dice that to the same size as the egg. Mix everything together and season with salt (avocado needs lots of salt for maximum flavour). Pile the mixture back into the avocado shells for a really retro presentation and garnish, or serve in small dishes with hot toast. (A spoonful of chilli jelly is great on top for chilli-heads.)
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