February Season’s Feastings – Purple Sprouting Broccoli
We’ve had a couple of months of root vegetables, but February is when we start to enjoy the leafier kinds. Purple Sprouting Broccoli is at its best from February to April and adds some much needed vibrancy to February plates.
At first glance, purple sprouting broccoli may seem like a new-fangled broccoli breed, but it’s actually been cultivated since Roman times, and grown in the UK since the 18th Century. It’s got a great taste, with enough punchiness to stand up alongside some really strong flavours, complementing them while also holding its own.
It’s a great choice for any home-grow enthusiasts, it’s a robust and hardy little crop, that can withstand cold, frost and even deep snow!
Look for dark green-purple florets and leaves.Avoid any which appears to be wilting or shows any yellowing. As always, buy as fresh as possible. The longer it takes to get from farm to plate, the more of a cabbage-y, slightly bitter note it can develop.
Don’t waste the leaves! They are edible and quite tasty. PSB works well cooked a number of ways: roast it (10-15 minutes), fry it (around 6 minutes), steam or boil – just be careful not to let it overcook and go soggy.
For a seasonal feast
Try roasted lamb with a selection of seasonal veg: purple sprouting broccoli, kale, leek and cabbage. Warming and delicious, perfect for a miserable February evening.