Feel Good

Purple sprouting broccoli three ways

April is all about purple sprouting broccoli and here are three recipes for brunch, lunch and dinner to make the most of it while it is still in season.

Written by Beth Williams
Published 15.04.2023

Poached egg, purple sprouting broccoli and tarragon hollandaise

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • Splash white wine vinegar
  • 3 very fresh free-range eggs
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (see tip)
  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed, thick stems split lengthways

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a small jug and keep warm. Bring a deep frying pan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and a tiny splash of white wine or cider vinegar, then reduce the heat to just below a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, find a saucepan you can put 3-4cm water in and sit a heatproof mixing bowl over without the water touching the bowl. Add 3-4cm water to the saucepan and gently heat to a simmer.
  3. Separate one of the eggs and put the yolk in the bowl with 1 tsp water (keep the white for another time). Put the bowl over the saucepan of water and use a balloon whisk to beat the yolk until it starts to become thick and mousse-like.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat, keeping the bowl set over it, and start to add the melted butter drop by drop, whisking all the time, until the mixture starts to emulsify. When it does, whisk in the butter in a thin stream to make a thick, glossy sauce. Whisk in 1-2 tbsp water from the simmering frying pan to thin it if necessary (this will also help bring it back together if your sauce happens to split).
  5. Add a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon to taste, along with a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and the chopped tarragon. Set aside (see Make Ahead).
  6. Add more boiling water to the saucepan that was under the bowl, plus a good pinch of salt. Cook the broccoli for 3-4 minutes until just tender, then drain well.
  7. Meanwhile, break the remaining 2 eggs, one at a time, into a cup and add to the gently simmering frying pan of water to poach. They should need 2-3 minutes for a set white and runny yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
  8. Arrange the drained broccoli on 2 plates, top each with a poached egg and spoon over some of the hollandaise. Season and finish with a tiny pinch of cayenne. Serve with hot buttered sourdough too, if you like.

Recipe credit: Delicious Magazine

Purple sprouting broccoli with sunshine dressing and toasted buckwheat

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 450g purple sprouting (or tenderstem) broccoli
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, ideally equal amounts of both black and white
  • 50g buckwheat
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 100g sprouted seeds, washed and shaken dry
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • A few pinches Aleppo pepper (or other dried chilli flakes)
  • A little feta, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing

  • 2 medium carrots (about 150g), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 round shallots (about 50g), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 50g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • 60ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme leaves
  • 120ml vegetable oil

Method

  1. To make the dressing, whizz together everything but the oil in a powerful, upright blender, then, with the motor running, slowly pour in the oil until fully incorporated. Loosen with water – about four tablespoons gives the right pouring consistency – and put to one side.
  2. Peel the broccoli stalks, then cut them into slivers about the width of your little finger; cut the florets into pieces of similar width – none of the broccoli pieces should be longer than about 5cm. Bring some water in a steamer to a boil, then steam the broccoli until just tender but with a little bite, six to eight minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden all over, and tip into a small bowl. Do the same first with the buckwheat until golden and crisp, add to the same bowl, then with the sunflower seeds.
  4. Once the broccoli is cooked to your liking, lift it out of the steamer and leave it to cool for a minute. Spread it out over a large, wide serving plate and drizzle all over with the dressing. Scatter with the seeds, sprouts and coriander leaf, dust with a little chilli and, if you like, some crumbled feta, although the salad is delicious without.

Recipe credit: Thomasina Miers’ via The Guardian

Garlic and parsley roast chicken with crunchy purple sprouting broccoli

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 40g softened unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Half a small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 free-range skin-on chicken thighs
  • 350g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 20g fresh breadcrumbs
  • zest of ½ lemon

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. In a small bowl, combine the butter with the garlic and the parsley. Season well.
  2. Take the chicken thighs, loosen the skin a bit on each one and work some of the butter mix under, rubbing any leftover butter on top. Season well, then put in a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, trim the broccoli and toss with 1tbsp of the olive oil and salt and pepper in a baking tray, then roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix the breadcrumbs with the lemon zest and rest of the olive oil. Scatter over the broccoli and roast for 3 minutes more. Serve the roast chicken and broccoli with buttered new potatoes, steamed rice or pasta.

Recipe credit: Delicious Magazine

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