Seasonal Spotlight: Tenderstem Broccoli.

The Japanese continually bring us a mixed bag of quirky and cool; innovative technology, sushi, Pokemon and best of all, Tenderstem Broccoli.

Using traditional breeding methods they crossed the classic broccoli with Chinese kale and the Tenderstem was born – a versatile veg with a distinct, yet milder brassica flavour and a tender, less fibrous stem, so you can use the stem in recipes with ease (much like asparagus).  Plus, it’s packed with our good friend Vitamin C.

Here in the UK growers have seen the merits of this veg and now we can celebrate our own British Tenderstem season, starting in June and going right through into November, so stick it on your calendar!

Seeing as we’re halfway through the season I figured I’d share with you my favourite way of cooking it. In fact, it’s so tender, it requires very little cooking, just show it the heat for a few minutes and it’s done, no need to boil and over do it.

Simple fry in a tablespoon of olive oil (or peanut oil if you have it), with a clove of crushed garlic and handful of shelled pistachios. Fry for around 2-3 minutes.  Add a knob of butter (approx 30g) let it melt and then take off the heat. Serve straight away with some Parmesan shavings and a pinch of black pepper (or maybe some finely chopped, fresh red chili).

It’s great on it’s own as a quick, light lunch or starter but if you want a larger main meal then simply mix this in with some wild rice or lentils. No need for any meat here, the broccoli holds it’s own as the star of the show (but if you really must have meat, then mix in some good quality ham hock).

However you choose to cook it,  make the most of it before the season ends!

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