Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Roast Chicken, Red Pepper, Pine Nuts and Basil and Other Ideas

Purple-sprouting Broccoli with Roast Chicken Salad


Serves 4

  • 4-6 chicken thighs, bone in

  • 2 rosemary sprigs

  • 400g purple sprouting broccoli

  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated

  • olive oil

  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced

  • 25g pine nuts

  • handful basil leaves

  • 50g parmesan shavings


  1. Preheat oven to 190°c. Place chicken thighs on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper, tuck rosemary under the chicken and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile prepare the broccoli – wash and cut any thick stalks into chunks, place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, season and grate lemon zest over.

  3. Reduce oven temperature to 180°c, continue to roast chicken and add broccoli for 20-25 mins.

  4. Meanwhile lightly toast pinenuts in a dry pan

  5. Check chicken is cooked after 15- 20 mins (30-35mins total), remove from oven and let rest.

  6. When broccoli is tender, shred chicken from bone and combine with broccoli, red pepper, pine nuts, basil leaves and some shards of parmesan (vegetable peeler works well here)

Spring's Super Sprouter

Spring heralds the arrival of purple sprouting broccoli and what a treat it is! All modern varieties of broccoli actually derive from the purple-spouting kind and it arrives before many other crops. It is very versatile and can be steamed, roasted, griddled, stir-fried and eaten raw.

It is a fantastic source of vitamin C and carotenoids as well as providing fibre, folic acid, magnesium, calcium and iron. It is a rich source of phytochemicals

PSB is in season between late February and April and you can use broccoli or cauliflower instead, later in the year.

Choose broccoli with dark greeny-purple leaves and florets and store in an air-tight container or paper bag in the fridge.

Purple sprouting broccoli goes well with ginger, chilli, garlic, soya sauce, citrus and cashews amongst other flavours


Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Garlic, Chilli and Tamari

  1. Steam 400g purple sprouting broccoli for 3-4 minutes until almost tender, refresh under cold water

  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and gently sauté 2 finely sliced garlic cloves and 1, deseeded, finely chopped chilli for a few minutes.

  3. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 2 minutes then drizzle with 1 tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari for a gluten-free version) & 1 tbsp sesame oil

You can also sprinkle with fresh seeds such as sesame, pumpkin and sunflower.

Other ideas

It’s delicious simply roasted with lemon zest and olive oil - cut any thick stalks into chunks, drizzle with olive oil & season, then roast at 180 c for about 20 minutes, until cooked through and serve with finely grated, unwaxed lemon zest.

Fantastic raw, or lightly steamed, in any salad.

Also pairs brilliantly with anchovies & garlic or with grilled or pan-fried salmon.

Lightly steam and dip into softly-boiled eggs or leftover broccoli works really well in a frittata.