Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Brocolli

Broccoli is definitely an understated vegetable, quite often overcooked and the first thing you eat from your roast dinner 'to get it out of the way' - but not at pollen + grace, here we embrace the broccoli. Same as cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica, made up of deep green buds, and a thick stem - which is a great addition to juices!

It was developed from the purple sprouting broccoli, which has recently become the trendy older sister, making it's way into many a restaurant, but they're still both the same in all but appearance! 

The best are bright in colour and the stalks firm - yellowing heads means they're past their peak. Always avoid the cellophane wrapped supermarket types too - the cellophane is sure to make them look perkier for longer! 

Broccoli is usually steamed, but try roast, chargrilled, pan fried or blanched for a change. 

RECIPE IDEAS

- Boil the broccoli for 3-4mins then add to a a pan and stir fry in sesame oil with garlic for 5mins. Add cashews for the last minute and serve

- Broccoli also makes a delicious soup for a good dose of greens. Add chicken or vegetable stock, celery, leeks, spinach and broccoli with salt and pepper to taste, the perfect healthy comfort dish. 

- We love using broccoli in salads. Simply blanche then mix with your favourite ingredients  - we particularly love it with sweet potato, pumpkin seeds and a base of spinach. 

- Fancy pasta but want to add some greens? Broccoli is the perfect addition. Simply boil until soft, give it a quick mix in a food processor then mix with the pasta along with a dash of creamy sauce (we love oatly's oat cream but coconut cream + tahini would be delicious too!) 

- Broccoli pesto? It's a thing. Simply blitz the usual pesto ingredients (basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic) along with cooked (and drained) broccoli - delicious!