Archive for the ‘Broccoli’ Category

Organic Box 11th May

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Fruit: Oranges, rhubarb, kiwis and apples

Vegetables: Onions, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, spring onions, fennel

 It’s a wrap, or at least a Fajita with the appearance of fennel in the bag. It is de rigeur for the four year to request broccoli soup should broccoli be included, and for an age when green vegetables are to children what crossed candlesticks are to Dracula, this is a request that is not refused.

Stewing the rhubarb with a nip of water and brown sugar, and serving with custard or ice cream brings back memories, and is that perfect combination of tart and tasty if got right. 

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Pasta

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Purple sprouting Broccoli

300g purple sprouting broccoli (or asparagus)
500g spaghetti or tagliatelle

1 egg yolk
3 tblsp lemon juice
3 heaped tblsp salted butter
pinch salt

Bring a two pans of salted water to boil.  Cut the broccoli into 1cm length and rinse well, discarding any tough stalk ends or yellow leaves.  Add the sauce ingredients to a glass, metal or ceramic bowl large enough to sit over one of the boiling water pots (but with the bottom of the bowl not touching the boiling water).  I use a big salad bowl and serve the dish straight from it.

Put the pasta and broccoli on to boil.  Fit your sauce ingredients bowl over the top of the boiling pan and whisk gently.  Keep whisking as the butter melts and everything starts to incorporate.  Give the pasta and broccoli a stir (watch out, the bowl will be hot), then return the bowl to the top of the pan and keep whisking the sauce until it becomes custard-like in texture.  As soon as this happens, remove from the heat.  Add a couple of spoonfuls of the broccoli water to loosen it a bit.

After 8-10 minutes the pasta and broccoli will be done.  If the sauce, pasta or broccoli are ready early, remove from the heat until the other components have cooked.  If you need to check the broccoli or pasta, make sure you take the sauce off the heat while you aren’t whisking.  Drain the broccoli and pasta and add both to the warm sauce bowl and stir through.

Season to taste.  Serve with parmesan and black pepper.

This easy dish makes a lovely, moreish lemony pasta with chunks of sweet broccoli, perfect for a quick supper or winter lunch. 

If you use green broccoli, use chunky pasta and cook pasta and broccoli together in the same water: ideal for camping suppers!

Floret Pasta Bake

Thursday, December 10th, 2009


1 Romanesco cauliflower (or cauliflower or broccoli)
250g macaroni (or chunky pasta)
1 ltr salted boiling water
1/2 pint milk
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups grated strong cheddar
1 tomato or red pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  Break cauliflower into florets and rinse.  Cook them in the boiling salted water until al dente.  Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put the pasta into the same water until al dente.  Drain and leave in the pan, adding the cauliflower back in.

Put the milk, flour, butter, nutmeg and mustard into a small pan and heat gently.  Whisk regularly as the sauce cooks.  Pay attention as it comes to boil as it will try and stick to the pan and suddenly thicken.  When this happens, turn off the heat and add 1 cup of cheese, whisking it in.  The sauce needs to be just about pouring consistency.  If it is too thick, add a little more milk or some of the pasta water.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and cauliflower and mix well.  Check it for seasoning.  Tip the lot into a shallow, oven proof dish, decorate with sliced tomato and then sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.  Bake in the oven until the top is brown (about 30 mins).

This is everything you want in a pasta bake; cheesy, filling, moreish.  Serve with a lovely fresh green salad with a nice, sharp dressing to cut through the stodge a little.  And it works well with some dry toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds on the side to sprinkle at your leisure.

NB You can cook this really quickly by boiling the pasta and cauliflower together, and whisking up the cheese sauce while they cook, then just grilling the cheesey top, rather than heating the lot through.

Broccoli Soup (by special request)

Saturday, November 7th, 2009


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 big head broccoli, cut into florets
1 veg stock cube
1 ltr boiling water (or half water, half milk)
pinch nutmeg
1 cup grated cheddar

Fry onion in a saucepan with oil until glassy.  Add broccoli, stock cube and water (water should cover broccoli by about 1cm).  Leave to boil for around 20 mins.  When broccoli is cooked, blitz the soup, then stir in the cheddar and nutmeg.  Season to taste.  It should be fairly thick.

For toddlers, serve a small bowl of this with fingers of toast to dip (I use toasted wholemeal pitta pockets, cut into strips).

NB this soup works equally well with purple sprouting broccoli.  To make the soup more creamy, substitute milk for half the water.