How to eat PSB (what hipsters call purple sprouting broccoli)

April is a difficult month for vegetables in Ireland

One amazing fact about purple sprouting broccoli is that this year’s crops will have been sown last year, around May. The plant is robust enough to weather any winter and is usually harvested from January to May.

April is a difficult month for vegetables in Ireland as we sit between the end of one season and the beginning of another. The celeriac and Jerusalem artichokes are gone, but the beautiful baby vegetables have not yet arrived.

Of course, there are always parsnips and swede, but I’ve had my fill of those this year. I want something green and light. PSB (what the hipsters call purple sprouting broccoli) is now common in most supermarkets and we have some excellent growers dotted around the country. Of course if you cannot get your hands on purple sprouting broccoli, just use regular broccoli.

Broccoli and hazelnuts produce a wonderful culinary marriage whether that is in the sauce below, or simply a beautiful broccoli, feta, and hazelnut salad.


How to make broccoli with hazelnut sauce

To make the hazelnut sauce, roast 150g hazelnuts until nicely browned. Combine the roasted hazelnuts with 150ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil, one garlic clove, and two tablespoons of apple balsamic vinegar. Blend into a rough paste with a hand blender or in a food processor. Season to taste with sea salt and adjust the consistency of the sauce if desired. You can make it looser if you like with a little more oil. You can also add any soft fresh herb into the mixture, such as dill, parsley, or coriander.

Blanch 450g of broccoli florets in salted boiling water. Dress with 50g of melted butter and sea salt. If you have a blowtorch to hand you can give the broccoli florets a slight char. The taste of charred broccoli is absolutely divine. Serve the broccoli florets and hazelnut sauce in two separate bowls.