Our kitchen garden cook shares some of her favourite recipes with purple-sprouting broccoli.
Lebanese pizzas are traditionally made with minced lamb, but this is my kitchen garden version. The purple-spouting broccoli gives the dish a delicious earthiness, but you could equally make it at any time of year using other vegetables.
Spiced-lamb pizza with roasted purple-sprouting broccoli (makes 2 pizzas)
300g ‘00’ plain white flour
A pinch of sugar
A generous pinch of salt
40ml olive oil
1 1⁄2tspn easy yeast
150ml warm water
120g organic lamb fillet
1tbspn wholegrain mustard
2 cloves crushed garlic
Generous pinches of salt and pepper
Half a teaspoon each of sumac, cumin and cinnamon
1 red onion
500g fresh tomatoes
1 tbs brown sugar
A handful basil leaves
A splash of red wine
1tbspn pre made pesto
Salt and pepper
A handful of pine nuts
400g purple-sprouting broccoli flowers (tough stalks removed), tossed with olive oil
1 red chilli, sliced into rings (so you can remove them easily if someone doesn’t like it hot)
250g buffalo mozzarella
110g pomegranate seeds
A handful freshly chopped parsley and mint
A squeeze of lemon
200g Greek yoghurt
1 clove crushed garlic
Half a cucumber, diced, seeds removed
Pour the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the other ingredients and mix well with a spoon at first and then with your hands. Once it comes together, knead for about 8–10 minutes, before placing in a well-oiled bowl and covering the bowl with clingfilm. Place the bowl in a warm place so the dough can rise for about an hour.
In a bowl, combine the mustard, crushed garlic, seasoning and spices. Add a little olive oil and then brush it all over the lamb. Put the lamb into a freezer bag and in your fridge until ready to use.
Heat your oven to 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas 4. Cut the tomatoes and red onion into chunks and toss them with a generous splash of olive oil in a bowl and then arrange on a roasting tray. Sprinkle the sugar over them. Roast for about 45 minutes or until they’re soft. Transfer the tomato and any juices to a saucepan and then add the basil leaves, red wine, pesto and seasoning. Simmer until the sauce has reduced and then use a handheld blender to blitz to a purée. Set aside until ready to use. Get the lamb out of the fridge and sear the edges in a frying pan before slicing into thin slices.
Cut the pizza dough in half and roll into two circles. Place them on oiled baking trays. Spread the tomato sauce over them and then dot it with mozzarella, the slices of lamb, the olive-oil-tossed purple-sprouting broccoli flowers, pine nuts, fresh chilli and seasoning. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until the base is cooked and crispy.
Once out of the oven, immediately scatter the pomegranate seeds, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon over the pizzas. Serve with salad and yoghurt-and-cucumber dip.
More ways with purple-sprouting broccoli
Anchovy, chilli and garlic purple-sprouting broccoli
Place 100ml olive oil in a saucepan and add a chopped red chilli, 6 anchovies, 4 cloves crushed garlic. Heat carefully, ensuring nothing burns. Remove the flowers from the stalks and simmer in salted boiling water for about 4 minutes, or until tender. Toss with the olive oil and serve as a side dish.
Pasta with monkfish, purple-sprouting broccoli and capers
Gently fry slices of monkfish in olive oil in a large frying pan. Add a scattering of capers, a splash of white wine and a generous squeeze of lemon. You could also add chilli if you like it spicy. Add pasta to a saucepan of boil- ing water and add some purple-sprouting broccoli a few minutes before the end. Drain and toss with olive oil. Tip it into the frying pan and mix everything well. Season and scatter with fresh parsley before serving.
Purple-sprouting-broccoli pesto crostini with sun-blushed tomatoes
In a food processor, blitz 500g cooked purple-sprouting broccoli, a handful basil leaves, 5 cloves garlic, 50g pine nuts, juice from 1 lemon, sea salt and pepper. Spread on crostini and top with sun-blushed tomatoes and torn basil leaves for a perfect snack or pre-dinner canapé.