Author: Stewart Turner
I always find it amazing that even in the depths of winter we are blessed with some of the most vibrant produce. Amazing blood oranges, delicate Champagne rhubarb with the most wonderful pink hue, and fantastically deep-purple sprouting broccoli are just some of what’s on offer.
The health benefits of broccoli are well documented and, of all the cruciferous plants, along with cauliflower, it is one of the most versatile. Simply steamed or boiled, it partners with almost any plate of fish or meat, and it also takes centre stage in excellent dishes such as “broccoli with anchovy”, or crusted, with parmesan.
This dish partners purple sprouting broccoli with blood orange and burrata. This unctuous cheese, a delicacy from the southern heel of Italy and a richer cousin of mozzarella (once you’ve tried it, the humble mozzarella will never taste the same again!), was almost unheard of outside Puglia a decade ago. Its creaminess is a perfect foil to the earthy broccoli and the acidity of the blood orange. This is a cracking starter, or with the addition of some prosciutto and a little crusty bread a great lunch or supper dish too.
- 500g purple sprouting broccoli
- 250g burrata
- 3 blood oranges
- 1 chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
- 8 mint leaves – finely sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
Trim the broccoli and discard the woody ends, remove all the leaves and set aside. Season the stems with sea salt and steam for about 5 minutes, then drizzle over some olive oil and grill on a hot griddle until they start to char around the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside, return the griddle to the heat and grill the leaves until they just start to char and crisp again. Put to one side.
Peel two of the blood oranges and slice into rounds. Juice the remaining orange and bring the juice to the boil, reduce by half, pass through a sieve, mix with a good glug of olive oil, the chopped chilli and the mint to form a dressing, season to taste.
Scatter the blood orange slices on a platter, place the burrata in the middle and the broccoli stems around it, spoon over the dressing and finish with the crispy broccoli leaves.
Why not match this with one of our favourite mid-week wines?