Purple Sprouting Broccoli
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This untidy-looking, colourful cousin of broccoli can be used in much the same way. Leafier and deeper in colour than calabrese, it adds vibrancy and crunch to vegetable dishes.
Choose the best
Choose broccoli with dark greeny-purple leaves and florets. Discard any plants with yellowy florets or wilted leaves.
Trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves with a knife. Divide into small, individual florets, each with a short stem, and diagonally slice the thicker stems. Rinse under cold water. Broccoli boils or steams in 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of floret. In stir-fries, cook it for a couple of minutes, until tender.
In an airtight bag in the fridge.
Boil the florets in plenty of water, and serve warm with melted butter and lemon juice.
Purple sprouting broccoli 0 all recipes using purple sprouting broccoli
The UK purple sprouting season runs from January to May. Modern hybrids are bred to extend the season, but they tend to be tough and tasteless. Purple sprouting broc should look fresh, firm and healthy, not dry or wrinkled. The spears should snap cleanly and the florets should show no sign of yellowing.
Store in the bottom of the fridge and eat within a few days of purchase. To freeze, spread the washed florets onto a baking tray. Cook from frozen.
Boiled or steamed, purple sprouting brocmakes an excellent side dish tossed in butter or oil. Or serve them in a sauce with pasta or as a starter, covered in hollandaise.
Broccoli Article by Clarissa Hyman
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