There’s broccoli and there’s sprouting broccoli, a cousin to the bulked-out broc we tend to knock. After some British friends of mine sang its praises, I planted it for the first time last summer. Surprisingly, it overwintered and I harvested it this spring. Two words: tender and delicious. The stalks are pencil thin with little broccoli mop tops crowning the beautiful and prolific brassica. Because of its branching habit, the more you harvest, the more new shoots are encouraged to replenish the plant. (And thus, the secret to its name: sprouting broccoli.
To cook, I simply blanch the sprouting broccoli quickly and drain the water, dob a bit of butter, pinch some salt, take a couple turns at the pepper mill, and enjoy thoroughly. Grow some this year in your garden or pick it up at your local farmers market. You’ll never look back at big-guy broccoli again.
Some related links and Seed sources (updated):
- Baker Creek: Early Purple Sprouting Broccoli,
- American Meadows: Green Sprouting Broccoli
- Bountiful Gardens: Sprouting Broccoli Varieties
- Kitchen Garden Seeds
- Recipe: Purple sprouting broccolit with proscuitto & poached egg
- Recipes from readers at the Real Epicurean
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