I’ve been inspired by cookery writer and presenter Sophie Grigson to buy some broccoli seeds, in the hope of a bumper crop to experiment with. When I met her at a lunch the other week, we were talking about the importance of fresh food, simply cooked, and she shared her favourite broccoli recipe - a hit with her teenage children. (She says she originally got it from fellow chef Heston Blumenthal.)
It goes something like this:
Wash the broccoli, separate the head into small pieces and thinly slice the stems. Heat some olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, put the broccoli in and cover with a lid. Cook for 2 minutes, shaking occasionally, remove the lid and season with salt and pepper, add a lump of butter, shake it again, then cook, covered, for another two minutes. Test to see if it’s tender enough, and if not, cook for another minute or so. Don’t worry if it’s brown in places – it all adds to the flavour and texture.
Sophie has recently been exploring the varied cuisines of the Far East - see the results of this in her new TV series, Sophie Grigson in the Orient, on the Travel Channel at 9pm from Tuesday, May 18.
Here's Sophie with Hong Kong chef Sam Ip.