Late January is a time that many chefs look forward to because it’s purple sprouting broccoli season. Packed with healthy vitamins and calcium, this purple variety of broccoli has coloured heads and tender stalks which many compare to asparagus. Not only does it look great on the plate, but it is also packed with flavour and a very popular ingredient during this time of year.
The simple way to prepare this purple broccoli variety would be to trim any stem ends and tough leaves then cut them into smaller florets as you would with regular broccoli. Use cold water to rinse both the florets and the leaves, then you can steam, boil or stir-fry them according to your recipe.
While purple sprouting broccoli can be prepared and served the same way as regular broccoli, the colour and leafy nature allow you to get a little more creative with recipe ideas.
Grilling purple sprouting broccoli gives the vegetable a lovely smoky flavour that combines with the bitterness of the leaves. Grilling also provides a tender crunch from the stalks and florets. The longer you leave these over the heat, the more char you’ll create. You’ll want to first steam or boil the florets for no more than three minutes to allow the broccoli to soften before adding them to a grill pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
To serve, you can enhance this simple dish by serving a little dressing or sauce with this, we recommend something simple like tahini with a squeeze of lemon juice to add a little acidity. Crack a few fresh peppercorns and sprinkle some salt into the sauce and mix well. Alternatively, you can add a teaspoon of honey to add a little sweetness to the sauce. You can either use this as a dipping sauce or drizzle it over the broccoli.
Another way to turn purple sprouting broccoli into a delicious side is to roast it in the oven.
If you like to have a tart or mini quiche on your starter menu, then why not add purple broccoli to make your menu seasonal. Here are some combination ideas that work beautifully:
The combinations are endless, if you want to pack a punch then use a strong blue cheese.
Another fabulous combination and can be used as a main course or a starter. Any type of pasta can be used, but we would recommend a creamy sauce as opposed to a tomato-based pasta sauce. You can keep the broccoli as the star of the show if you are making a vegetarian dish. Use garlic, cream and white wine for the sauce.
However, if you are making a meat or fish pasta dish, you can consider the following combinations with your purple broccoli:
Our purple broccoli is just one of the winter seasonal vegetables in our range of fresh produce that we have available at Arthur David. We have a fast, next day delivery service for at wholesale prices for restaurants, hotels and any commercial kitchen, you can order up until 11 pm the night before. Give us a call today on 0330 333 4441.