You can eat the leaves of sprouting broccoli plantsPosted by Fiona Nevile in Discoveries, Vegetables | 12 comments
For the past five years John Coe has supplied us with sprouting broccoli plants. The purple variety gives a bigger, longer harvest. But nothing can beat the sweetness of white sprouting broccoli. This is the Premier Cru of sprouting broccoli. It is generally not available from the shops as the plants are smaller, the yield is minimal and the harvest is short.
Sounds like the sort of vegetable that you should ignore. Wrong. White sprouting broccoli is a real delicacy. On a par with the first longed for asparagus shoots. If you have the space, give this angelic vegetable the chance to dazzle you. The plants are set in July and the harvest is in the following April. They hang out decoratively over the winter and from March the florets are forming.
With us, the sprouting broccoli season is finally over. The plants were standing with leaves but no florets beside the raspberry canes when John Coe surveyed them on Wednesday.
“I don’t think that I’ve told you that the leaves of white sprouting broccoli are delicious and sweet.“
He had never divulged this.
“Just tear the leaves from the central stem, remove the thick leaf stem and simmer them for seven to eight minutes. They taste gorgeous.”
So last night I harvested some leaves from a couple of plants. John was right they were sweet and tasty and packed with fresh leaf flavour. So good that the Min Pins polished off the few remaining cooked leaves this morning preferring them to the pig’s liver topping!
So don’t jettison your broccoli plants to the compost heap. Eat the leaves and enjoy a real treat and if you have leftovers share them with your pets.
Leave a reply