Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple sprouting broccoli is our favourite vegetable.   Normal broccoli is lovely too, of course, but the purple stuff has a few advantages.  Firstly, it’s purple and it’s pretty.  That’s always good.  Secondly, it’s a little sweeter and the texture is more delicate than normal broccoli.  And finally, it heralds the end of root vegetable season.  (I do love root veg but tend to be a little sick of it by this point in the year).

The purple sprouting broccoli I bought this weekend at the market was the first I’d seen this year and we wanted it to be the star of the show rather than a side dish.  I was also feeling rather lazy last night so dinner had to be something easy.    Settled on our favourite pasta dish embelished with lots and lots of our favourite veg.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Spaghetti with Garlic & Chilli

(serves 2)

3 fat garlic cloves, chopped finely

1/2 tspn chilli flakes

Optional =  3 tablespoon chopped parsley

50ml oil


 200g spaghetti

Three big handfuls of purple sprouting broccoli (it’ll look to much but it shrinks)

  •  Add the oil, garlic and chilli to a small frying pan and set over a low heat. Warm very gently until the garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley (if using – I didn’t have any last night) and a very generous generous pinch of salt.
  • Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water.  Approximately 3 minutes before it’s cooked (softened but still crunchy on the inside), add the broccoli.  Cook for a further three minutes then drain.
  • Toss with the oil mixture.
  • Serve with parmesan cheese, if you like


10 thoughts on “Purple Sprouting Broccoli

  1. Have you tried the broccoli salad from the Ottolenghi cookbook? Quickly blanched broccoli, grilled to add smokiness, with garlic, oil, chili flakes and thinly sliced lemon. Would be nice with purple!

  2. I have never seen the purple sprouting broccoli at any of our markets. I love the beautiful color…maybe next year I might try growing some.

  3. The broccoli is beautiful…I’ll have to look for it here in North Carolina (and the recipe sounds great…thanks for sharing!).

  4. It is so great, one of my favorite vegetables to grow, and very hard to find in markets here. You’re right, it is sweeter than standard heading broccoli. I just wish E liked it as much I as do. Oh well, more for me! Your pasta dish sounds wonderful.

  5. That purple broccoli is so pretty Wendy, I do wish we could get it here. Love your pasta dish. A common home-alone dinner for me is a big batch of the Heston Blumenthal broccoli recipe on The Wednesday Chef, tossed through pasta with some extra olive oil and lemon juice. If I’m feeling “fancy” I’ll toss through some toasted pepitas. Delicious.

    I like the idea for your series of posts on the market produce you purchased. Looking forward to the rest.

  6. Pingback: The Squash « A Wee Bit of Cooking

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