A Hume

A Hume
Purple Sprouting Passion

Purple Sprouting Passion

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Seasonal ways with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

 

To kitchen gardeners the early months of spring are known as the hungry gap. Seedlings abound but there is little in the way of a harvest, the weather may eventually be warming up but few crops have had time to grow and mature.

 

However there are a few notable exceptions and amongst them is my favourite all time crop: Purple Sprouting Broccoli.

 

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Source: google.com via Donita on Pinterest

 

 

PSB, as it’s known amongst officiandos, is the most rewarding crop in the veg patch. It may take a long time to reach its peak, 40 weeks or so from seed to harvest but just when you’ve forgotten all about it, it throws up tender stems and tight little flower heads that are so packed with flavour you will never want to eat standard broccoli (calabrese) again. What’s more its cut and come again, meaning than the more you harvest it the more flowering stems it will produce.

 

Even if you don’t grow your own PSB, supermarkets have seen the light and begun to stock this great green with giant flavour.

 

PSB Pasta

 

This recipe owes its heritage to a long lost River Cottage recipe that was intended as a side dish. I’ve messed about with it a bit to create an easy midweek pasta dish – it originally appeared with kale on gardening blog School House Garden. Use a pasta like orecchiette, or conchiglioni with dip and divots that holds the sauce.

 

PSB Pasta

 

 

Serves 2

240g orecchiette, or conchiglioni,

250g, approx PSB, or two greedy handfuls

Olive Oil

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh red chilli, or pinch dried red chilli

8 Anchovy fillets, or thereabouts

A glass of white wine
200ml double cream

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water. Wash and trim the PSB, then throw into the pasta pot for the last minute or two. Meanwhile on a low heat, fry the garlic in the olive oil, on a low heat. Do not allow to colour. Then add the chilli and the anchovy fillets. When the anchovies have melted, add the white wine and get a good sizzle going, then turn the heat down again and add the cream. Simmer for a few minutes then sling everything together in a large warm pan, making sure all the pasta is coated in sauce. Serve into warm bowls and tuck in.

 

Warm PSB & Cannellini Bean Salad

 

Serves 2

250g, approx PSB, or two greedy handfuls

100ml Olive Oil, plus a glug or two for the beans

Dash of white wine vinegar

1 egg yolk

A handful of parsley, chopped

Tablespoon grated Parmesan

Black Pepper

400g Cannellini Beans (tinned is fine)

Wash and trim the PSB, then either boil, or steam in salted water until tender. This should only take a minute or two, especially if home grown. Then mix the olive oil, vinegar and egg yolk until you have a smooth creamy emulsion. I use a hand blender but you could equally use a jam jar or food processor. Next add the parsley, Parmesan and black pepper. Heat the olive oil in sauté pan and warm the beans through, add the creamy dressing mixture, then the cooked PSB and toss until thoroughly dressed.

I tend to serve this with Smoked Paprika Pork recipe below, they just go so well together and it is an easy combo to pull out a hat on Friday evening when I’m on my knees but in need of a treat.

 

Smoked Paprika Pork

 

Serves 2

2 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon salt

1 tsp sweet smoked paprika

Tiny slurp of olive oil

2 juicy pork chops

 

Using a mortar and pestle, pummel the garlic with the salt until you have a smooth paste. Next add the smoked paprika- your paste should resemble something Titian would’ve killed to get his hands on. Add a little olive oil just to loosen the paste a little, you want something the texture of playdoh – spreadable. Then using your fingertips massage the paste into the pork. If you have time leave it aside for a while. But if in haste, heat a griddle pan, or simply the grill and cook your pork until no longer pink. Be careful not to overcook the pork, it’s all too easily done. Serve with the Warm Cannellini Beans & Kale Salad. Rapturous applause will undoubtedly follow.

Note: All recipes work equally well with kale.