PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI, SESAME, CHILLI, GREEN GARLIC & A POACHED EGG
In late winter, just when all the possibilities for pumpkin, celeriac and cabbage have been thoroughly exhausted, there is purple sprouting broccoli – like a little miracle. It’s such a relief to see it, I even feature it on the breakfast menu, but that’s not such a big leap, really – many brassicas have an affinity for eggs. We use our own fermented chilli sauce for this dish. A mixture of peppers and chillies, we can splash it around without setting anyone’s mouth on fire. It certainly plays its own part boosting optimism in those last winter months.
300g-400g purple sprouting broccoli, broccolini or
sweet stem broccoli 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds ½ sheet nori 1 tablespoon wakame 2 pieces dried orange peel 1 green garlic* 2 tablespoons sesame oil 4 eggs mild chilli sauce, preferably fermented
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Trim the broccoli into civilised spears, removing the tough parts of the stem. Blanch the broccoli for 1 minute in the water. Set aside, in one layer, to cool.
Toast the sesame seeds together in a dry pan, until the white sesame seeds are golden. Cool. Grind ¼ of the seeds with the nori, the wakame and the dried orange peel, then mix back in with the rest of the seeds
Slice the green garlic thinly. Heat a pan with the sesame oil, and cook the green garlic until it releases its aroma, but isn’t coloured.
Add the broccoli and salt, and sauté until any excess water has evaporated and the broccoli is coated with the sesame oil.
Bring a pan of well-salted water to the boil. Turn the heat down, and gently crack the eggs into the water. Room-temperature eggs will take 3 minutes.
While the eggs are poaching, divide the broccoli among 4 plates. Dress with chilli sauce. Drain each egg carefully, and place on top of the broccoli. Sprinkle the sesame mixture over the egg. *Green garlic is young garlic that is harvested before the bulb is fully formed. Look for it at a farmers' markets – it looks a bit like a spring onion – or substitute with a regular garlic clove.