Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Purple Sprouting Broccoli With Anchovy, Garlic and Butter Sauce

Now's the season for purple sprouting broccoli - one of my all-time favourite vegetables!
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains the phytonutrients sulforaphane and the indoles, which have significant anti-cancer effects. It is also incredibly high in vitamins C, K and A, dietary fibre and folate, as well many other minerals and B vitamins.

This is based on a recipe I saw in Country Living this month, and makes a really nice vegetarian lunch or starter. If serving as a starter, make sure it comes before a robust main course, because it is VERY strong-flavoured! I did mine for lunch with buttered, boiled potatoes.

Anchovy, Garlic and Butter Sauce:
3 Cloves Garlic
100ml Milk
6 Anchovy Fillets in Olive Oil
Softened Butter (cut into small cubes)

1) Heat the milk in a small pan with the garlic cloves until the garlic is tender

2) Carefully blend the milk, garlic and anchovy fillets in a food processor (I use the Herb attachment on my funky Braun hand blender set)

3) Add the butter and blend again until the sauce is smooth. Set aside and warm just before serving.

A Good Serving of Purple Sprouting Broccoli
- Try to get broccoli with stems no wider than 1cm but it this isn't possible, split the stems lengthways up towards the floret head to ensure even cooking.

1) Bring approximately 200ml water to the boil in a large saucepan and add broccoli stems. Put the pan lid on and boil for 5 minutes before turning off the heat and allowing to continue cooking in the steam until tender.

2) Drain and toss in a little olive oil.

3) Serve with a small ramekin of the sauce or pour a little over the broccoli prior to serving.