Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Purple Sprouting Brocolli

The cool kid of the vegetable scene, purple sprouting broccoli has been having it's moment for quite some time now and it doesn't seem to be calming down any time soon. Maybe it's the name that gives it such a cool reputation, or the fact it looks so different from it's often over-boiled brother broccoli, but purple sprouting broccoli has quickly made it's way in to every restaurant menu, greengrocers and cookbook. 

And rightly so with a crunchy bite and leafy flavour, it's the perfect accompaniment to many dishes. You can find it locally in the UK between February and April making now the best time to stock up and make the most of it. Be sure to choose dark greeny-purple leaves and florets for the best taste, discarding any yellowing florets or wilted leaves.

HEALTH BENEFITS

- Purple sprouting broccoli is a power house of dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants, as well as phytonutrients - all highly beneficial to fighting off disease and maintaining a healthy body 

- It's also a very rich source of vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant and immune booster - ideal considering it's available during the period of the year when the weather can be so inconsistent

-  It also contains 21 % of recommended daily amount of vitamin A, which is essential to healthy eye-sight and preventing damage to the retina later in life. 

RECIPE IDEAS

- Nothing quite beats broccoli pan-fried or grilled with sesame oil and garlic. Simple, delicious and always a crowd pleaser. 

- It also adds great crunch to a salad - our first, and now last box, is a salad of spinach, blanched purple sprouting broccoli and roast squash with pomegranate, pistachio and avocado mousse. One of our favourite, and most popular salads! 

- It's not just limited to lunch and dinner either. Purpler sprouting makes a great addition to breakfast and brunch, Try grilling, drizzling with olive oil and topping with a poached egg (toast optional) 

- Carrot sticks are so 2012 now. Try serving blanched broccoli florets with beetroot hummus for an impressive snack