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sprouting

April 20, 2010

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purple and white sprouting broccoli has become my new kale. it’s all i can eat lately – i love the stuff.

sprouting appears in early spring and right now, it’s piled high on the tables at london farmers’ markets … after this winter, i’m definitely ready to cook some new veg and i haven’t seen the first asparagus and radishes yet. but sprouting is delicious. as far as i know, it’s not grown in the U.S. (if it is, i have never seen it before). it has a more subtle flavor than regular broccoli, and it’s much more tender. i also think it’s quite photogenic.

i’ve been using nigel slater’s tender vol. 1 as my guide for preparing it. nigel suggests a citrusy hollandaise-type sauce, but most often i prepare it as you see above: steamed for 3-4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the stalk), piled onto a warmed plate with a shower of parmesan, lemon zest, good olive oil and salt and pepper. i love eating this topped with a fried egg, which adds a bit of richness and makes it a meal. if you are more ambitious than i am, you can see nigel’s recipe from the guardian here.

28 Comments
  1. April 20, 2010 7:32 am

    that looks and sounds delicious!
    I wonder if we can buy seeds to grow this here in the US?

  2. April 20, 2010 7:48 am

    Sprouting broccoli is such an amazing thing to eat – shame I can’t get it here in Denmark.

  3. April 20, 2010 8:11 am

    wow-that looks so good! and it is very photogenic;)

  4. April 20, 2010 8:24 am

    That looks and sounds lovely!

  5. April 20, 2010 8:25 am

    oh yes please. that looks fantastic.greens, lemon, olive oil, egg, parm-easy and delicious route to a quick meal.

    and you use my favorite ikea dishtowels! i love them so much, i’m going to use them as napkins at our wedding-cheaper than renting, and then we have a huge supply to keep after :)

  6. April 20, 2010 8:59 am

    it is photogenic! i have never seen that in the u.s. either, and now i want some!

  7. April 20, 2010 9:14 am

    I hope I can find this sprouting broccoli in the market so I can try this myself. I envy you, Brian – You can read Nigel Slater and visit the same markets he visits, and prepare the same food he prepares all in the same day. :)

  8. April 20, 2010 9:21 am

    not long to go until the english asparagus season kicks off though!

  9. April 20, 2010 9:42 am

    Va bene. The sprouting looks damn good. I am also hooked on Kale, but last night I made broccoli rapini with a bit of kale. I blanched it for about 3 minutes. Chilled it in an ice bath. Drained it and dried it real well and then sauteed it with olive oil lots of garlic and red pepper flakes. It was incredible.

  10. April 20, 2010 11:09 am

    looks lovely!

  11. April 20, 2010 11:43 am

    i need to try this out..it looks so delicious

  12. Jean Prescott permalink
    April 20, 2010 11:47 am

    Looks delish…never seen or even heard of it. But I do love over-easy fried or poached eggs over greens. Try it all piled on a fairly thick slice of toasted country bread which has been rubbed with a garlic clove…got that from Molly’s kale entry at Orangette. You keep rockin’ the U.K., Brian.

  13. April 20, 2010 12:02 pm

    Photogenic indeed!!

  14. sunneschii permalink
    April 20, 2010 1:13 pm

    That looks delicious. And I’ve never seen sprouting.

  15. dave permalink
    April 20, 2010 1:38 pm

    I found some beautiful purple sprouting in the Hollywood Farmers Market on Sunday. I par-cooked it in some aggressively-salted boiling water while I sizzled a load of sliced garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil. Transferred the sprouting to the pan with the garlic to finish it, and added a handful of whole wheat linguine to the water. When pasta is still quite firm I added it to the sprouting with a bit more salt, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of pasta water, tossing it until just perfectly cooked. Serve with a nice grating of grana or PR and a glug of fresh oil. beautiful. earthy. zesty. substantial but also quite fresh and spring-ey.

    yay for sprouting.

  16. April 20, 2010 2:37 pm

    Great photos, Brian!

    I bought Tender, Vol. 1 as a Christmas present to myself, and I absolutely love it. After a winter spent dreaming, I’m thrilled to have it in the kitchen with me as we enter “the growing season.”

  17. April 20, 2010 3:57 pm

    Please, get your hands on some seeds and send them to me! Nigel is always talking about this stuff and I’ve wanted to try it for years and can’t understand why it doesn’t grow here.

  18. April 20, 2010 6:14 pm

    yes! i found it in my farmer’s market for the first time and wrote about it a couple of weeks ago
    ( http://daughterofabaker.blogspot.com/2010/04/this-weekend-i-made-excellent-new-food.html )
    can’t get enough of the stuff.

  19. April 20, 2010 11:34 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve never seen these before but they look beautiful AND scrumptious! No wonder you’re eating them like mad. :-)

  20. April 21, 2010 1:36 am

    Gorgeous shots! :)

  21. April 21, 2010 2:52 am

    Yum! Looks delicious.That is a perfectly cooked egg as well.

  22. Como Solo permalink
    April 21, 2010 5:32 am

    oooh I am so jealous, there´s no sprouting broccoli in Madrid :(

  23. April 21, 2010 6:27 am

    Yum. Found white sprouting in the farmers market for the first time last weekend, was delicious. Tender Vol 1 is a bit of a bible for me too at the moment, especially with this warmer weather. Gorgeous pics, as ever.

  24. April 21, 2010 11:49 am

    every spring I pick bundles of sprouts from my parents farm here in portugal. it’s one of my favorite garden treats!! I usually steam boil for about 3-4 minuts and add olive oil, chopped garlic and sometimes a tiny bit of curry. Eating it with steamed codfish and corn bread is the best!!

  25. April 21, 2010 7:07 pm

    i don’t really like vegetables, but you have managed to make them look pretty appealing…

  26. Mol permalink
    April 21, 2010 11:06 pm

    I’m curious about if the use of “sprouting” by itself as a noun, is that the common term in London? I guess I like it, it sounds so active. We have sprouting brussels sprouts (a mouthful twice over) here in Oregon for just two or three weeks in the spring, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen the broccoli like that. Is it sweet, not bitter? Looks delicious, thanks.

  27. Melinda permalink
    April 23, 2010 10:41 pm

    That sprouting looks so good and the suggestions here are just perfect! No wonder you are feeling green:)

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