The season for purple sprouting broccoli has just begun and you have until early April to enjoy this vegetable at its seasonal best. Monica shares what she loves about this vegetable, along with a recipe that celebrates its Roman connections.
Purple sprouting broccoli (or “PSB” as I affectionately call it) has been grown since ancient times and was a much loved vegetable of the Romans, who went on to cultivate the calabrese broccoli which we all know and love today.
But the purple sprouting stuff continues to stand on its own.
I particularly like it for its leafiness, which have a kale-like quality that tastes delicious in a stir fry, added to a frittata or topped with a poached egg.
To celebrate PSB’s Roman connections, I’m sharing a recipe for “Roman style” Purple Sprouting Broccoli. You’ll find vegetables prepared this way all over Rome, and you can see why: it’s always good and works with just about any vegetable. But it’s especially good with purple sprouting.
Roman Style Purple Sprouting Broccoli
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 dried chiles
salt and pepper
1 pound purple sprouting broccoli
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Chopped parsley for garnish
Cook the broccoli in a pan of boiling water for about one minute. When nearly tender, remove the broccoli and put them in a bowl of ice water to cool down. Remove from the ice bath and let drain in a colander.
Put 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and chillies and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden (a minute or two). Add the drained broccoli and raise the heat to high.
Cook, stirring only when necessary, until it begins to brown. Add the lemon zest and cook for another minute or two.
Serve hot or at room temperature. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, drizzle with some more oil, garnish with the parsley and serve.
Inspired? For more delicious broccoli recipes, visit Great British Chefs collection.