Seasonal local food recipe No.263 – Hugh’s pasta with purple sprouting broccoli, garlic and chilli


This is a variation on a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Veg Every Day I posted last spring, using purple sprouting broccoli instead of spring greens, but it is so good that I think it is worth sharing it again.  If you don’t have a fresh chilli you can use 2 pinches of dried chilli flakes.

Serves 4

Cooking and preparation time: 15-20 minutes

250g purple sprouting broccoli
6 Tbs olive oil
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely slivered
300g pasta shapes such as penne or fusilli
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:
olive oil
parmesan cheese, grated

Rinse the broccoli and break into bite-sized pieces. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the pasta.   Add the broccoli to the pasta giving it a good 5 minutes cooking time.  Warm the olive with the chilli and garlic for a few minutes.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain the pasta and broccoli thoroughly and toss with the olive oil, chilli and garlic.  Check the seasoning then serve with olive oil for trickling and lots of grated cheese.

Seasonal local food recipe No.259 – Potato and broccoli soup

This is the perfect soup for the depths of winter, it is thick and warming.  The original recipe came from Simply Vegan by David Scott but this is my take on it.  If I haven’t got vegetable stock to hand I add a splash of soy sauce to add flavour.  Often I finely chop the broccoli stalk and add that at the same time as the potato, again for extra flavour.  This soup has a chunky texture but if you prefer a smooth soup you can easily blend it and reheat before serving.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

1 small onion, finely chopped
25g butter or vegetable margarine
450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
700ml vegetable stock
250g broccoli, divided into small florets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fry the onion in the butter or margarine for 3 minutes.  Add the cubed potatoes and fry for a further minute.  Add the stock and bring to the boil.  Add seasoning to taste and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir well to break up the potato and thicken the soup.  Add the broccoli and simmer until just tender.  Serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No.243 – Frank’s tofu with broccoli


This recipe is inspired by Ken Hom but instead of deep frying the tofu, Frank just braises it at the end to heat it through. 

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

300 g broccoli
300g firm tofu, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs coarsely chopped garlic
3 tbs thinly sliced shallots
1 tbs Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbs light soy sauce
2 tbs dark soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
3 tbs water
1 tbs sesame oil

Separate the broccoli into small florets and peel and slice the stems.  Blanch the broccoli pieces in boiling water for three minutes and then immerse them in cold water before draining thoroughly.  Heat the olive oil in a wok, add the pepper, garlic and shallots and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the broccoli, rice wine, soy sauces and sugar and stir fry for 1 minute.  Now add the water, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the tofu and heat through, stirring gently as the tofu is delicate and breaks up easily.  Add the sesame oil and serve at once.

Seasonal local food recipe No.194 – Allegra’s tortellini in brodo d’estiva

Another easy 10-minute meal – vital in the present heatwave – this time from Allegra McEvedy (via Guardian Cook). Try it with with the peas, broad beans and basil in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week.

She says: This has long been my top fall-back supper: warming, nutritious, quick and indisputably yum-a-licious. Without meaning to sound like a smartypants… a decent [homemade] stock is both the vital background and making of this dish – cube or concentrate just won’t do on this occasion.”

Serves 2
Preparation / cooking time: 10 minutes

500ml chicken stock
150g ready-made tortellini
A few slices of red chilli (optional)
2 handfuls of seasonal veg such as mange tout or sugar snaps, roughly sliced; courgette, diced; peas or broad beans; french beans cut into batons; or broccoli cut into tiny florettes
A large handful of summer herbs, such as basil, mint and parsley
Lemon juice, to taste

To finish
Parmesan, grated
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper


Warm up the stock and, once steaming, drop in the tortellini and pop a lid on the pan. After 3-4 minutes, and when just cooked, add the veg of your choice. When the stock has come back to a simmer, turn the heat off and stir in most of the herbs, some seasoning and a little lemon juice to taste.

Ladle into warm, wide bowls and finish with a flourish of grated parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil and the last of the herbs.

Seasonal local food recipe No.188 – Spring greens with lemon dressing

A simple and healthy side dish for spring from BBC GoodFood.

Serves 8

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes

600g shredded spring greens, thick stalks removed
OR 400g spring greens and 250g broccoli, thicker stalks halved

For the dressing
2 garlic cloves, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Make the dressing first. Mix together the garlic, lemon juice and zest, olive oil and some seasoning. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the broccoli and/or greens, and cook for about 5 mins until tender. Drain well, then toss through the dressing and serve.

Seasonal local food recipe No 174: Chargrilled broccoli with chilli and garlic

Much loved by customers at Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurant, this can be made with calabrese or purple sprouting broccoli. For extra oomph, add four chopped anchovy fillets to the chilli and garlic when cooking them in the oil.

Serves 2-4

Preparation and cooking 15-20 minutes

2 heads broccoli or about 500g sprouting broccoli
115ml olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
coarse sea salt and black pepper
toasted flaked almonds or very thin slices of lemon (with skin) to garnish (optional)

Prepare the broccoli by separating it into florets or cut the sprouting broccoli into small pieces if necessary. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Throw in the broccoli and blanch for 2 minutes only. With a large slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to a bowl full of ice-cold water. Drain in a colander and allow to dry completely. It must not be wet at all. In a mixing bowl, toss the broccoli with 45ml of the oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Place a ridged riddle pan over a high heat and leave it there for at least 5 minutes, until it is extremely hot. Depending on the size of your pan, grill the broccoli in several batches. The florets mustn’t be cramped. Turn them around as they grill so they get char marks all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and continue with another batch.

While grilling the broccoli, place the rest of the oil in a small saucepan with the garlic and chillies. Cook over a medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn – they will keep on cooking even when off the heat. Pour the oil, garlic and chilli over the hot broccoli and toss together well. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve warm or at room temperature. You can garnish the broccoli with almonds or lemon just before serving if you like.

Photo and recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook

Seasonal local food recipe No.142: Misticanza (sauteed mixed greens)

This Italian recipe tosses an assortment of green leaves with chilli and garlic in oil in a hot pan to make them more interesting.

It’s recommended by Bridget Gould, one of Camel CSA’s three expert growers, and comes from Bringing Italy Home by Ursula Ferrigno.

Any spring greens will do. Bridget says: “I have also used black kale to make this delicious dish and will be trying it with turnip tops when they’re available!”

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

675g mixed greens (spinach, Swiss chard, purple sprouting broccoli, endive)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2 small hot chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil


Trim and thoroughly wash the leaves and vegetables.

Fill a large pan with three litres of water and bring to the boil. Add salt to taste. Stir in the greens and boil for three to five minutes, or until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water and drain again. Squeeze to eliminate all the water, then chop coarsely.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chillies and cook lightly to soften. Add the greens, and saute until heated through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil or fresh lemon juice.

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.

Seasonal local food recipe No.132: Char-grilled sprouting broccoli with sweet tahini

This unusual winter salad can be made very quickly. It comes from chef Yotam Ottolenghi‘s weekly column in the Guardian. He says: “This salad is loved even by those who claim not to like tahini.”

Serves four

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes (at most)

550g purple-sprouting broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
40g tahini paste
1½ tsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp each black and white sesame seeds, toasted (or just 2 tsp white)

Trim any big leaves off the broccoli and cut off the woody base of the stems. Blanch for three minutes in boiling, salted water until al dente, refresh, drain and leave to dry.

Toss the broccoli in the oil, a teaspoon of salt and a large pinch of pepper, then cook on a very hot ridged griddle pan for two minutes on each side, until slightly charred and smoky. Set aside to cool.

Whisk the tahini, honey, lemon juice, garlic and a pinch of salt, and slowly start to add water half a tablespoon at a time. At first, the sauce will look as if it has split, but it will soon come back together. Add just enough water to make the sauce the consistency of honey – around three tablespoons in total.

Arrange the broccoli on a platter, drizzle with sauce and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature.

More sprouting broccoli recipes from Camel CSA
Pasta with sprouting broccoli
Stir-fried purple sprouting broccoli

Seasonal local food recipe No 118: Angela Hartnett’s chicken with lemon, and chilli broccoli

Another of Angela Hartnett’s mid-week supper suggestions in the Guardian‘s Food & drink section (the Murano chef patron is fast becoming a favourite of ours).

It’s a variation on the classic Italian broccoli al peperoncino or red hot broccoli and pairs up the calabrese/broccoli and fresh red chillies in Camel CSA’s veg boxes this week.

Angela advises: “The chicken can be served hot or cold, but you want the cooking juices to soak into the broccoli. It’s spicy, so tone down the chilli if you want.”

Serves four
Preparation and cooking time: 50-60 minutes

1 chicken, jointed, so you’ll have eight pieces – but halve each breast to make 10
2 tsp sweet paprika
5 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 lemon cut into quarters
300ml white wine
200ml water (chicken stock if you have it)
1 tsp sliced fresh chilli
500g broccoli
Freshly milled salt and pepper


Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a sprinkle of some of the paprika powder.

Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the butter and brown the chicken all over. Remove from the pan, add the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary and sauté for two minutes.

Add the rest of the paprika, then after a minute return the chicken to the pan, along with the lemon. Pour the white wine into the pan, stirring well. Allow the wine to reduce, then add the water or stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts as soon as they’re cooked, to stop them becoming dry, and allow the rest to cook for another five minutes.

When all the chicken is cooked, leave to one side while you prepare the broccoli. Bring some salted water to the boil, and blanch the broccoli in it until just cooked. Drain the broccoli, then heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the sliced chilli for one minute before adding the broccoli and tossing them together.

Season, and serve on a large plate with the chicken on top, pouring over any extra juices.

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