According to my mum (a.k.a. The Allotment Guru), we are currently going through the main ‘drought’ period for British produce; where most of our Spring produce is just sprouting and you’re getting to the end of Autumn stash that’s been turning wrinklier and wrinklier in the shed since October. If you’re lucky right now, you might get the shake some mud off your leeks or shred-up some slightly tough Kale leaves for soups and stews, and if you’re really lucky then you should be able to enjoy some delicious fresh sprouting or tenderstem vegetables.
There is no time more like the present that we need to eat with the seasons and appreciate what we have available to us rather than relying on foreign imports. If you take a trip to your local market or wander down the aisle of a superstore you should (hopefully) find an array of not just tenderstam broccoli, but also tenderstem cauliflower and the beautiful purple sprouting. And if you do, buy it!! – Hand on heart, nothing beats a meal from fresh, seasonal, local produce (just think how great English strawberries are in the summer)!
If these aren’t items you regularly cook with then I have some delicious recipe ideas for you to try, all of which make these sprouters the Queen of the dish, and taste delicious too!
Roasted Tenderstem Salad with Crumbly Cheese, Toasted Seeds and a Poached Egg
- 1 red onion – quartered
- 1 splash oil
- 80g tenderstem broccoli
- 1 tbsp pistachio nuts – crushed
- 1 dsp mixed seeds – toasted
- 1 egg – poached
- 25g crumbly cheese (I used caramelised onion cheddar)
- Juice ½ lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 160’C
Toss the onion in the oil and roast for 20 minutes
Blanche your tenderstem in boiling water for 1 minute and then plunge into a pan of cold water. Add this to the roasting tin and return to the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Once your veg is cooked, plate up and top with the remaining ingredients and squeeze over them lemon juice.
- Calories – 382
- Fat – 28g
- Carbs – 13g
- Sugars – 6g
- Protein – 19g
Baked Tenderstem in a Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce
- 1 courgette – sliced lengthways
- 160g sweet sprouting cauliflower – steamed fro 3 minutes
- 1 splash rapeseed oil
- 1 red onion – quartered
For the sauce
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 heaped tbsp. corn flour – mixed into a paste with a splash water.
- 50g Saint Agur cheese
- 50g walnuts – crushed
- ½ pear – finely chopped
- Sprinkle parmesan
Preheat the oven to 160’C
Toss your vegetables together with the rapeseed oil and roast for half an hour.
While your veg is roasting, make your sauce by heating the milk until steaming. Stir in the flour paste and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened. Once it is the consistency to coat the back of your spoon, remove it from the heat and stir in the Saint Agur, stirring until melted.
Pour this over your cooked veg and top with the walnuts, pear and parmesan.
Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, plate up and enjoy!
Tenderstem broccoli and rich tomato nutty crumble.
- 250g tenderstem broccoli – steamed
For the sauce
- 1 stalk celery – stringy bits removed and finely chopped
- 2 small onions – peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic – peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 courgette – grated
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 red chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- Splash red wine
- Pinch sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 6 sundried tomatoes –finely chopped
- Pinch oregano
For the crumble
- 1 piece stale bread
- 1 tbsp pistachios
- 1 tbsp peanuts
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan
Preheat your oven to 180’C
To make your sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft.
Add the celery, garlic and chilli and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly so as not to brown.
Add the remaining ingredients, bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
While the sauce is bubbling away, whiz together the bread and the nuts until you have rough crumbs.
Stir in the black pepper and the parmesan and set aside until needed.
Line a baking tray with the steamed tenderstem (if unsure, this should take about 4-5 minutes to steam), and top with the sauce. – Try to leave a few of the florrets poking out the sides as these have a lovely crunch when roasted.
Top with the crumble mix and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Calories – 340
- Fat – 12g
- Carbs – 38g
- Sugars – 17g
- Protein – 15g