Purple sprouting broccoli is one of the earliest spring crops in the Pacific Northwest, offering something fresh and green when it’s still cold and damp out. It’s an old English variety and its small, tight purple heads and green stalks and leaves are gorgeous–all of which is not only edible but sweet and delicious. It’s quick-cooking and suitable for a variety of dishes. Some varieties lose their beautiful purple hew when cooked and some don’t but either way the flavor is superb.
The stems can often be fibrous and a bit tough which you can test but taking a bit of it, raw. If it’s tough and too chewy, simple peel the skin off the stems with a small paring knife. The stems below the skin will be perfectly tender.
The typical and excellent and simple sauté with olive oil and garlic can be varied by adding freshly grated ginger just a touch of soy sauce or fish sauce (or both) and some toasted sesame seeds to finish. It holds up well in a rice noodle and green curry dish and it’s beautiful and delicious on pizza or tossed with white beans and plenty of red wine vinegar and chili flakes for a hearty salad.
Ingredients that complement purple sprouting broccoli:
- Olive oil
- Chili flaks and spicy peppers
- Fresh and aged cheeses
- Soy sauce/Tamari
- Sesame oil/toasted sesame seeds
- Peanut sauce
- White beans
- Bacon/ham hock
Dishes that include purple sprouting broccoli: