WITH PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI
recipe for Penne with Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Pine
Nuts, Chilli and Lemon has been reproduced courtesy
purple sprouting broccoli growers were facing catastrophe
in early June (2011) for a second time in twelve months
when the crop was nearly ruined by the dry weather,
but recent rainfall has set them back on track for an
excellent, healthy and plentiful crop. Purple
sprouting broccoli, which has seen a huge rise in popularity
in the last five years with nearly 5,000 tonnes grown
in the UK, has come into its summer season early due
to the recent, unseasonably warm weather.
British growers start the summer season in June, and
plant a winter crop in the autumn, making purple sprouting
broccoli an almost year round vegetable. It is a plant
which needs a good level of water and the progress of
this seasons successful crop has had its challenges.
Cultivated by the Romans, broccoli has been grown in
the UK since the early Eighteenth century but purple
sprouting broccoli has only come to prominence in the
last five years.
Matthew Fort, food critic and presenter of the Great
British Menu comments: Purple sprouting broccoli
has a delicate flavour and beautiful leaves which add
colour to any dish. Its a chefs delight,
with a refined flavour. However its as much a
gourmet food as it is a family vegetable, given how
easy it is to prepare, the subtleness of the flavour
and soft texture which has wide appeal.
Not just pretty on the plate, purple sprouting is one
of the most nutritious vegetables on the market.
It is packed with vitamin C and is a good source of
carotenoids, iron, folic acid, calcium, fibre and vitamin
A. Purple sprouting contains more calcium and folic
acid than other varieties of broccoli and about 1 -
3 servings (170g) of broccoli a week is believed to
lower the risk of cancer.
For more information about purple sprouting broccoli
and other vegetables in the brassica family visit
recipe is very useful right from early spring through
to mid-Autumn when purple sprouting broccoli is in season
and tender. By blanching the stems lightly, you can
still keep that vibrant, beautiful green and purple
colour that makes the dish come alive. You could use
almost any brassica in this recipe, like a sweetheart
hispi cabbage, or a savoy cabbage, it is so versatile.
for Penne with Purple Sprouting Broccoli
400g purple sprouting broccoli
400g Penne pasta
100g pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsps olive oil for pan frying
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
Sea salt and pepper
1 unwaxed lemon, the zest removed and the juice squeezed
to make Penne with Purple Sprouting Broccoli
and trim the purple sprouting broccoli, discarding
any tough parts to the stalks and cutting them into
2 cm pieces. Set aside.
a large saucepan of water, and when the water is boiling,
pour in the penne pasta. Boil the pasta for approximately
12 minutes, until it is soft but still has a bite
to it. When ready, drain the pasta.
the pasta is cooking, heat a smaller saucepan of water
on the stove, and when the water is boiling, blanch
the purple sprouting broccoli for no more than 3 minutes.
Drain and leave to cool on a preparation tray.
the pine nuts in a dry non-stick frying pan. Be very
careful not to burn them. The secret is to keep shaking
the pan so they do not stick to the bottom and burn.
a heavy saucepan and heat the oil.
the finely chopped shallot, garlic and red chilli,
along with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly grated
black pepper. Soften the vegetables quite gently,
adding a small amount of water to help create steam
in the pan.
the vegetables in the pan are soft, add the cooked
pasta, the lemon zest, a little of the lemon juice
and the toasted pine nuts.
well and fry for 3 minutes.
the blanched purple sprouting broccoli, mix well,
and then turn off the heat.
on a warm platter, with extra lemon juice and a drizzle
of olive oil.
Serves 4 as a starter
with permission of Love
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