Pic of Purple sprouting broccoli with roast tomato and anchovy sauce

Purple sprouting broccoli with roast tomato and anchovy sauce

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Meat mains

Purple sprouting broccoli with roast tomato and anchovy sauce

Side Serves 4 3h 10 min
This lovely vegetarian recipe takes a bit of time in the oven but very little effort to prepare. Even if you don't have broccoli, it's a great way of intensifying the flavour of tomatoes. Try as a light, healthy lunch or dinner with fluffy couscous – or as a side to strong meat such as lamb. Purple sprouting broccoli, which grows well in Britain, is in season from January to May when other home-grown greens are in short supply. You could use normal Calabrese broccoli instead.


  • 3 or 4 large tomatoes, quartered, or 200g-300g cherry tomatoes, halved if large
  • 400-500g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 4 fillets tinned salted anchovies (optional)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 3h
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 150°C/Gas 2. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a roasting tray lined with nonstick baking parchment. Scatter over the garlic and tuck the thyme sprigs between the tomatoes.
  • Step 2

    Sprinkle with salt (just a little if you are using anchovies) and sugar if using - this really helps tomatoes that aren't perfectly ripe. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Roast for 2-3 hours, until sticky and caramelized. You can also roast for an hour at 180° C/Gas 4 but watch carefully to prevent burning.
  • Step 3

    While the tomatoes are cooking, warm a little more oil in pan and add the anchovies, if using. Cook gently until the anchovies have melted into the oil. When the tomatoes are ready, add them and the garlic to the anchovies, but remove the thyme sprigs.
  • Step 4

    Blend roughly or mash with a fork, depending on how smooth you want the sauce. If you use a fork you might want to remove the tomato skins. Add black pepper and salt if needed.
  • Step 5

    Steam the broccoli stems, put on serving plate, spoon over the sauce and serve.

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