Seasonal eating: Sprouting variety is bang in season
The asparagus season arrives a little later here in Yorkshire, giving us chance to appreciate another spring time favourite of ours; purple sprouting broccoli.
Although in season from around January, purple sprouting broccoli, or PSB as we like to call it, is at its absolute best right now.
Originally cultivated by the Romans, PSB has only become popular in the UK over the last 30 years.
It seems that we prefered the more standard broccoli which we’ve been growing since the early 18th century. This might be due to PSB’s slightly wild and untidy appearance, but with a sweeter flavour and stalks that are tender enough to eat, we much prefer the purple variety.
We recommend giving your PSB a gentle trim, just enough to remove any woody stalks whilst leaving as many of the leaves intact as possible.
Although it’s commonplace to discard them, probably in an attempt to tidy the vegetable up, the deep green leaves have great flavour and it seems painfully wasteful not to use them.
PSB is sweet enough to be cooked simply.
Boil or steam very briefly to enable the florets retain their purple colouring and serve as you would new season asparagus; with a dollop of hollandaise or a little olive oil and lemon juice.
We also like to blanch our PSB then finish it off in a frying pan with butter and anchovies.
The rich umami saltiness of the fish offers a pleasing contrast to the bittersweet florets, which are just perfect for soaking up the buttery sauce.
You could also try PSB in a gratin for a tasty side dish, or make a meal of it with a couple of chunks of bread and butter.
Stir fry with beef skirt, mushrooms and oyster sauce for a quick tea; cooking it quickly in a stir fry is a great way to preserve that gorgeous purple colour and flavour.
Alternatively, if you really want to retain that colour, try it raw, with a lemon and garlic hummus for a healthy snack.
For more recipe ideas, head over to the Recipes and Blog section on our website.
If you like to eat the very best of the seasons, pop into our store which is based on Abbeydale Road.
Most of our fresh produce is organic and, because we source food from Yorkshire, our selection varies according to the season which means there’s always something new to try.