Monday, 14 May 2012

The Inaugural post of the Sam Barnes Google Recipe Challenge - Purple Sprouting Broccoli

The Husband and I went out for a quiet drink and a curry on Friday night. It’s hopeless trying to go out for a quiet drink where we live because there’s always someone else in the pub trying to have a quiet (or not so quiet) drink. We bumped into some friends, including Sam, who, I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, is utterly fabulous. She’s a great artist, she did the drawings on my blog, and her stuff is really worth checking out.  Alcohol had been consumed, and amidst the general chatter she announced: “I think you should do a Google thing. You know, see what you’ve got left in the fridge, type it in to Google and see what it comes up with. It’d be great. The weirder the better!”

“Fantastic! Yes! Chilli pickled rhubarb with polenta!” The Husband and I nearly didn’t make it to the curry house...
Anyway, never let it be said that I shy away from a challenge and use the excuse that I was drunk. Let me present:

The Sam Barnes Google Recipe Challenge: Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Tonight was a good night to do this, as the kids were fed elsewhere and instead of planning a sumptuous grown up feast for 2, it was looking otherwise like beans on toast. On inspection, the fridge contained an over-optimistic amount of purple sprouting broccoli, starting to look more than a little sad. In the interests of using the challenge to use up more of the left over bits and pieces, further delving produced some new potatoes, half a red onion and half a jar of anchovies in olive oil. I googled ‘purple sprouting broccoli’ and came up with this recipe from the Daily Telegraph. Almost a perfect fit. The fridge did not magically produce quails eggs, but the chickens have been co-operating, despite me clipping their wings yesterday, so we had:

New potato, red onion and p.s.b. salad with anchovy cream and poached eggs – serves 2 as a main course
½ red onion, finely sliced, 300g new potatoes, 250g purple sprouting broccoli, any woody bits trimmed, Juice of ½ lemon
55g anchovies in olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, 55g pine nuts, olive oil, Juice of ½ lemon

Make the cream: put the anchovies and oil, the garlic and pine nuts into the small bowl of a food processor and whizz together. Add the lemon juice and pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil in a steady stream while whizzing, till you get a smooth-ish, thick-ish puree. Taste and add more lemon if necessary.
Make the salad: heat a glug of olive oil in a pan and gently cook the onions until they are soft. Boil the potatoes until cooked and steam the broccoli till tender. You should be able to steam the broccoli over the potatoes for the last 4-5 mins of the potato cooking time. Put the onions, potatoes and broccoli in a bowl, and toss with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and salt and pepper and set aside while you poach the eggs. Do you need me to tell you how to poach eggs? I’ll leave that to Delia .

Pile the salad onto 2 plates, drizzle with some of the anchovy cream (although don’t overdo it – serve the rest of the sauce on the side in a jug – anything left would taste gorgeous stirred into pasta – which is what I’m planning to do for lunch tomorrow!) and place a poached egg on top of each pile of salad.

It was delicious.


  1. love the way it always turns the water a fab shade of purple! Very adventurous for a monday - sounds yum

    1. yup - in fact I ended up using the same water to poach the eggs - and was worried they would look little green on the photo...

  2. Well done Recipe Junkie!!! Its official, you are a star. x x

  3. Love this salad and looking for more thing to do with anchovies.

  4. I could eat this for dinner every night!
    mary x

  5. Sounds amazing! Love anchovies and broccoli! I'm not sure I could come up with anything as exciting from my fridge...

    1. That's why google is your friend. Occasionally.


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