Hot Broccoli Tartlets

Makes 8-10 tartlets

1 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely sliced
175g Broccoli, broken into small florets
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
¼ pint milk
50g farmhouse cheddar, grated
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh parsley or chervil to garnish

For the Pastry:
175g plain flour
75g butter
1 organic egg

First make the pastry, place the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub in the butter, add the egg to make a dough, using a little cold water if necessary. Knead lightly, then wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas 5. Let the dough return to room temperature for 10 minutes and then roll out on a lightly floured surface, cut out 8-10 tartlets and line a bun tin.

Prick the bases with a fork and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is firm and lightly golden. Increase the oven temperature to 200c/400f/Gas 6.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan and sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes until soft, add the broccoli and stir-fry for a minute, then add a little water. Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes until the broccoli is tender.

Melt the butter in a separate saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for a minute, stirring all the time. Slowly add the milk and stir to make a smooth sauce. Add half the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spoon a little broccoli mixture in each tartlet case and then spoon over the sauce, sprinkle each tartlet with the remaining cheese and then bake in the oven until golden. Serve garnished with parsley or chervil.


Slow Braised Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 2-3

0.30 kg Purple sprouting broccoli
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1/4 dried red chilli (optional)
4 black olives pitted and sliced

Drizzle half of the oil in a shallow heavy based pan with a lid. Place the broccoli in the pan (to create a fairly thin layer) Squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and bury the garlic and chilli if using, drizzle over the remaining olive oil and add a small glass of water (add a splash more during cooking if needed but don’t drown it). Place over a low-moderate heat and cover with a lid. Leave to cook for about 40 minutes, turning once or twice, Add the olives 5 minutes before the end.

Serve at once


Pasta with Broccoli

Serves 4

350 -400g broken into florets
300g dried pasta, farfelle or orrechiette is good for this recipe
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
½ red chilli, de-seeded and sliced
Freshly grated parmesan

Cook the Broccoli in boiling water until tender. Drain well keeping the liquid.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instruction, until al dente.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and chilli and fry gently for 5 minutes or until the garlic is just transparent. Add the broccoli and fry for a few minutes more. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if it becomes too dry. Drain the pasta and add to the vegetable mixture. Stir well and serve immediately with the grated parmesan.


Cheesy Broccoli

Serves 4

500g Broccoli, cut into florets
25g plain flour
25g butter
salt and pepper
250ml (½ pint milk)
100g grated cheese
50g fresh white breadcrumb

Place the Broccoli in boiling water and cook until tender but not completely soft. Drain and place in an ovenproof dish.

Put the butter, flour and milk into a pan and cook until the sauce thickens and boils, stirring continuously, reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes, whisking all the time.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese, pour the sauce over the broccoli and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Grill until the top is golden


Broccoli and Cheese Soup

2 onions, peeled and chopped
40g butter
1 medium head of broccoli, trimmed and chopped (including stalk)
600ml vegetable stock
60g Stilton broken into pieces. If you do not like stilton, any other cheese can be used, if it is a milder cheese then you may need to increase the quantity slightly.
150ml single cream
Ground black pepper

Gently fry the onions in the butter until soft. Add the broccoli and stir for two minutes.
Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil, simmer for 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
Blend the soup until smooth.
Gently reheat the soup and add the crumbled stilton, or cheese of your choice, heat until the cheese has melted. Season to taste with black pepper.
Transfer to serving dishes and finish with a swirl of cream.

Broccoli with Chick Peas and Sage

This is a good ten-minute dinner for one or side dish for two. It works with asparagus and spinach too.
Serves 2-4

1clove garlic, smashed, peeled and finely chopped
20 sage leaves, stems trimmed
2 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp Chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin chick peas
1 head Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces.

Gently fry the garlic, sage and chilli in a tablespoon of oil until the garlic is soft and the sage is crispy. The longer the chilli is heated in the oil, the hotter the dish will be.
Meanwhile drain the chickpeas and bring their juice to the boil in a shallow pan. Cook the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
With a fork mash about a third of the chickpeas and add them with the rest to the garlic and sage. Put in the broccoli, any remaining chick pea juice and the rest of the olive oil, stir well and season to taste. For a bigger meal eat with rice or pasta.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Braised with Bacon, Garlic and Chilli.

300g Purple sprouting broccoli including leafy parts, just trim ends of the stalks
75g smoked streaky bacon, sliced in strips or lardons
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 dried chilli, chopped finely

Blanch the purple sprouting broccoli in boiling water for 4-5 minutes..
While it is cooking fry 75g of smoked streaky bacon in the olive oil until it is almost browned. Add the sliced garlic cloves and the chopped chilli and cook for another 2 minutes.

Then add the purple sprouting broccoli and braise with the bacon mixture for a further 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Risotto with Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 4

1.1 Litres of vegetable stock (made from 2 cubes)
15g butter
1 Large onion, finely chopped
250g Arborio risotto rice
300g Purple sprouting broccoli, tough ends trimmed, leaf shredded and any large spears broken into florets.
50g parmesan cheese, grated, plus 40g shaved
Finely grated zest and juice of one small lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook until softened, add the rice and continue to cook constantly stirring so the rice is coated, 1-2 minutes. Starting adding stock a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently until almost all the liquid is absorbed, this should take 15-20 minutes. In the meantime lightly steam the purple sprouting broccoli until almost tender. Stir in the purple sprouting broccoli and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese, lemon zest and juice and black pepper.
Serve immediately and garnish with the parmesan shavings.

Warm Broccoli Salad with Lemon and Toasted Almonds

Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a starter

1 large head or 2 small heads of broccoli, cut into florets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50g toasted almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g butter
Grated zest and juice of a lemon
Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan, add the broccoli and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
Stir fry the broccoli for 2-3 minutes, until just heated through, then remove from the pan to a serving plate.
Return the frying pan to the heat, add the butter, lemon juice, parsley and almonds, fry, stirring until the butter turns a light brown.
Pour the almond mixture over the broccoli and serve at once.

Sesame, Chilli and Honey-Drizzled Broccoli

Serves 4

400g Broccoli, cut into small florets
4 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Add the broccoli to a large pan of boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Be careful not to overcook.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the oil, honey, soy sauce and chilli and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drain the broccoli and place in a serving dish. Pour the dressing over the broccoli while it is still warm, then finish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Vegetable and Noodle Stir-Fry

Serves 4

250g pack Rice Noodles
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced thinly
2 medium carrots, cut in batons
150g Broccoli florets or shredded greens
4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
100g mange-tout, sliced lengthways
1 medium courgette, cut into batons
1 onion, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Place the noodles in a bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a wok and add the chilli,carrots, onion, mange-tout and broccoli, stir-fry quickly, tossing the vegetables for a few minutes.

Add the hoisin sauce and 2 tbsp water and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender, but still retain a slight bite.

Drain the noodles and toss with the coriander and mint. Serve the stir-fried vegetables over the rice with prawn crackers.