In the kitchen
Kept in its bag, it should keep for up to a week in your fridge, but is best eaten as soon as possible.
Prep & Cooking tips
Almost everything is edible in your bag of purple sprouting broccoli. You may need to trim the odd tough stalk end or discard the occasional discoloured leaf but everything else can go in the pot, pan or oven. For most recipes you’ll want equal-sized spears, so if you have a few larger and bunched stalks, split them down with a small knife. There is no reason that the smaller leaves can’t stay attached; the larger leaves make good greens just on their own.
At its freshest, purple sprouting broccoli should take no more than 3-4 mins in boiling salted water. Cook in small batches and check if it is done by nibbling the stalk end as this part takes the longest. When particularly young and tender it can be well served by gently frying over a medium heat in some oil and butter, or if cut small will benefit from the fast and furious attention of a wok as part of a stir-fry.
Simple Add a walnut sized knob of salted butter and a generous flourish of freshly ground pepper. It needs no more than a small squeeze of lemon to finish. Nothing fancy, it just works.
Salty Mix with a small handful of chopped capers warmed in foaming butter, or try frying some sliced chorizo or salami until crisp, adding a little chopped parsley and throwing together. You can always mash a couple of salted anchovy fillets into a good mustardy vinaigrette and dress the warm florets. Cheese works in all its varying forms, blue cheese in particular, or married with a proper rarebit mix and grilled on hot toast.
Asian Warm a little grated ginger, finely sliced garlic and chopped red chilli in a little sesame oil until the garlic starts to colour, throw together and season with a dash of soy sauce. You can always add small lightly steamed florets to a stir-fry or Thai curry.
Goes well with
Acidic flavours (Vinegars, Lemon juice)
Citrus (Lemon, Orange)
Herbs (Bay, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme)
Nuts (Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pistachios)
Spices (Black onion seeds, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Coriander seeds, Cumin, Fennel seeds, Ginger, Paprika, Star anise)
Honey and sugar
Raisins, currants and sultanas
Sesame, including tahini
Purple sprouting broccoli recipes
Roasted purple sprouting broccoli with wild garlic butter
Serves: 4 Total time: 45 min
Purple sprouting broccoli with chorizo and potatoes
Serves: 2 Total time: 40 min
Purple sprouting broccoli with anchovy and chilli
Serves: 4 Total time: 20 min
Wild garlic and purple sprouting broccoli ragout
Serves: 2 Total time: 60 min
Purple sprouting broccoli, mozzarella and tomato bake
Serves: 2 Total time: 50 min
Purple sprouting broccoli, beetroot, orange and caraway salad
Serves: 4 Total time: 1h
In the field
Meet the grower: John Walter-Symons , Holbeton, Devon
John Walter-Symons runs Borough Farm near Holbeton; the rolling fields are filled with vegetables and cereal crops, as well as free-roaming organic sheep.