About Purple Sprouting Broccoli

purple sprouting broccoli

Try purple sprouting broccoli while it lasts!

An English heirloom, purple sprouting broccoli is bred for overwintering. It grows slowly throughout the winter and produces lots of purple heads in the spring, giving us the first delicious break from winter roots.

Purple-sprouting broccoli has been found to contain higher contents of antioxidant compounds compared with green broccoli, but tends to show higher sensitivity to cooking treatments. Nash’s purple broccoli is so tender (including the stems!), we recommend cutting it up in a salad for maximum flavor and nutrition.

That said, it is also super delicious roasted, as in this Roasted Purple Broccoli Parmesan recipe.

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Shepherd’s Pie

This version of shepherd’s pie is quite reminiscent of the dish from Britain with a few small tweaks to make use of all the gorgeous produce we have as we move into spring.

1 tablespoon high heat oil
2 leeks, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 pound ground beef or Nash’s ground pork
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 cup diced broccoli, broccolini, or Nash’s purple broccoli
2 pounds Nash’s huckleberry gold potatoes, cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk (any fat content — I prefer full fat, you can also sub yogurt here)
Kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the leek, carrot, and meat. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Throw the diced garlic and broccoli in after 5 minutes. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste, and herbs. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk (or yogurt) and salt. Spread them over the meat mixture, then crosshatch the top with a fork. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Recipe adapted from epicurious.com.

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Sweet & Sour Broccoli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli1 bunch Nash’s purple sprouting broccoli
1 tablespoon high-heat oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce

Cut each broccoli stalk in half to create long, thin pieces. Wash and dry well.

Warm a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oils. Add the purple sprouting broccoli and brown it on the outside, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir frequently until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add the sugar, vinegar, pepper, and soy sauce. Let the sauce reduce by half and stir to coat the broccoli. Taste for seasoning, and serve warm.

We thank Darin Gagner for this recipe.

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About Purple Sprouting Broccoli – Nutrition

purple sprouting broccoli

Sure, it’s beautiful — but did you know it’s good for you, too?

Purple sprouting broccoli is a delicious and gorgeous alternative to the green heads found during the summer months. The crop has over-wintered and its lovely purple heads start to bud in February. It offers all of the same nutritional benefits in broccoli, just in a slimmer, more colorful version making it a lovely side dish.

Broccoli is famous for its glucosinolate content, which are phytonutrients that support all processes of detoxification within our bodies. Different nutrients from different vegetables support either phase 1 or phase 2 of our body’s detoxification systems, but glucosinolates from broccoli support both. Broccoli is a one stop shop for detox!

Many people in the Pacific Northwest take vitamin D supplements because we receive less sunshine than other parts of the world. But to support the metabolism of vitamin D, we also need vitamins K and A. Guess which vegetable is high in both of these vitamins? Bingo—it’s broccoli!! Try a mushroom broccoli sauté today, and you’ll be getting a natural source of all 3 of these bone supporting vitamins.

As the seasons change, catching a spring cold is common. In addition to its other vitamin benefits, purple spouting broccoli is high in vitamin C (1 cup offers 135% of the daily recommended value), so it can also help support your immune system.

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Roasted Purple Sprouting Broccoli

purple broccoli with cat

Everyone loves purple sprouting broccoli!

Easy to make and crispy-delicious, this recipe is a winner for a quick side-dish or snack. But watch out, you might want to eat the whole pan in one sitting!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

2 bunches purple sprouting broccoli
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss whole broccoli liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking dish, pop in oven, and let sizzle for about 20 minutes. Give then a quick turn and roast for another 4-10 minutes until crispy and tender. These are best served hot out of the oven, so dig in!

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Vegetable Tempura

Bunch carrots, bagged carrots, green onions, red onions, gold beets, red beets at farmer's market

Raw veggies are absolutely lovely, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up with tempura for a special occasion.

Serves four to six as an appetizer.

Dipping Sauce
2 scallions, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dry mustard

2 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup dark sesame oil

5 cups seasonal fresh veggies, such as broccoli, zucchini, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, etc.

For the dipping sauce, combine the scallions, soy sauce, water, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, and mustard in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour to let the flavors blend.

For the batter, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add the cold water and sesame oil all at once and whisk until the consistency of pancake batter and very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to prepare the tempura.

Blot the vegetables dry, season with salt and pepper and dip into the batter. Coat them evenly.

Pour the oil into a tall pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium heat until around 350 degrees F. Work in batches to avoid crowding. Slip the batter-coated vegetables into the hot oil, deep-frying until the batter is a golden brown and puffy, 3-4 minutes. Turn the veggies so they cook evenly. Remove from the pot with tongs. Drain on an absorbent towel. Serve with dipping sauce.

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Roasted Purple Broccoli Parmesan

Purple broccoli, bunched, on display

Purple sprouting broccoli is a special type of broccoli that produces small, broccoli-like heads on long, sweet stems in the spring.

1 bunch purple sprouting broccoli, trimmed
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment. In a shallow baking dish or bowl, combine the olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the purple sprouting broccoli and toss to coat.

Place the broccoli in an even layer across the prepared baking tray. Roast in the oven until desired tenderness is reached, and until the edges are slightly crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, as they crisp up quickly.

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