Category Archives: Broccoli

Tuna and egg salad with ‘micro-leaf’ seedlings

micro leaves

I sowed too many broccoli seeds this year. I had two old packets in my seed tin, one for a summer sprouting and one a winter sprouting, but both were well past their sow by dates. I decided I may as well throw the remaining contents of each packet into a pot each of compost and see what comes up.

To my surprise they germinated – en masse. When it came to pricking out time, I felt (as ever) bad about discarding the surplus seedlings, so, knowing that some people sow these veg specifically for their micro leaves, I thought I’d have a go at adding them to a salad, now that salad days are with us again.

salad leaves

I also added some thinnings from a pot of salad leaves growing in a large terracotta pot outside, a few baby leaves pinched from some little lettuces destined for the allotment plot, and the same from some of the brussels and savoy cabbages that I hoped wouldn’t miss a small leaf or two.

It’s not exactly a mega salad leaf harvest, but a good way to use up what may otherwise have gone to the compost heap.

This is the salad (single portion) I made with the leaves:

tuna and egg salad

Firstly put 1 large egg into boiling water and boil for 10 mins. Make a dressing with a tablespoon of olive oil a slug of vinegar (cider, white wine or, as I used, balsamic vinegar) and a squeeze of lemon juice, season with a grind of salt and pepper, and whisk together. Mix half a tin of mixed beans (drained and washed) with the micro salad leaves. Drizzle these with about half the dressing and mix again. Top with some chunks of tinned tuna, a few slices of red onion, a couple of small tomatoes, quartered, and a scattering of feta or goats cheese. Remove the egg from the water, cool and peel, then quarter and add to the salad. Finally drizzle over the remaining dressing.

You can pretty much add or subtract what you like from this. Black olives and green beans would make it a little more like salad nicoise. Once my new potatoes are ready they’ll definitely be going into a similar salad, minus the beans. Happy salad days!

Winter Broccoli Soup

broccoli soup

A recipe from John:

After a bracing Fenland dog walk from Ely to the Fish and Duck Marina at the junction of the River Cam and the Great Ouse, a bowl of soup was just what was needed to help revive us. Purple sprouting broccoli is still in season now, though for this recipe I used some from the freezer that had been harvested from the plot last year when some of the plants had started to bolt and others were getting blown over by the winds.

Ingredients

  • Broccoli (250g frozen weight)
  • 4 small potatoes (200g)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 1Tbs olive oil
  • Seasoning – salt and pepper
  • Worcestershire Sauce – dash (optional)

Method

Sweat the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add the potatoes, chopped fairly small (for this recipe, I left the skins on) and continue to fry gently for 3-4 minutes more. Then add the broccoli, straight from the freezer and allow all the ingredients to cook down together for a few more minutes. Then transfer the contents of the frying pan to a saucepan and add half the stock. Use the other half of the stock to de-glaze the pan and then add that stock to the saucepan. Add the seasoning to taste – and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce (if you like it!). Simmer everything together gently for around twenty minutes, and finally use a hand blender to create a smooth soup. Makes two good-sized portions, served with a chunk of bread and butter for dunking.

fenland walk

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