Seasonal local food recipe No.134: Purple (or white) sprouting broccoli with olive oil mash

Camel CSA’s veg boxes have plenty of either purple or white sprouting broccoli this week – depending on whether it came from our own plot at St Kew Highway or Richard Hore’s fields at Restharrow above the Camel estuary.

This simple lunch or supper dish from Yotam Ottlenghi in his Guardian column is a decidedly different way of using this delicious late winter vegetable. As he says: “The combination of olive oil, garlic and lemon juice lifts the spirits in winter.”

It requires a whole head of garlic. But hey – we all had one, also grown by us, in last week’s veg boxes. And if you’ve a chilli left on your Christmas chilli string, it’ll come in useful too.

Serves four
(as first course or vegetable accompaniment)

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

550g purple or white sprouting broccoli
1kg charlotte or desiree potatoes
1 whole head garlic
½-1 red chilli, depending on heat
3 long strips shaved lemon skin
About 5 tbsp olive oil
1½ tbsp lemon juice
Salt and white pepper
4 lemon wedges

white-sprouting-broccoli-camel csa

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Remove and discard the leaves and woody ends from the broccoli, then blanch the stems for three to four minutes, until tender. Refresh in cold water, drain and dry.

Put the potatoes, unpeeled, in a large baking tray. Cut the top off the garlic head, wrap in foil and add to the tray. Roast for 40-60 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through.

Thinly slice the chilli on an angle and put in a small saucepan with the lemon strips and oil. Cook on medium heat for three minutes, set aside to cool and strain, keeping only the chilli and oil.

Peel the warm potatoes and press twice through a potato ricer (or use a masher) into a saucepan. Unwrap the garlic, squeeze to release the cloves and add to the mash. Whisk the mash over medium heat, adding four tablespoons of strained oil, the lemon juice, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Whisk until smooth and silky (if it’s too thick, add a little water and more oil, stir and cook for a minute more). Keep warm.

Put a ridged griddle pan on high heat. Toss the broccoli with the rest of the oil and a pinch of salt, and grill in batches until the stems colour.

Spoon some mash on to each plate and top with broccoli. Sprinkle over the chilli, drizzle with oil and serve with a wedge of lemon.

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