green garden broccoli palya

8th February 2015

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After not being able to make it to the garden for a while I was overjoyed to find a blanket of these smaller stems of sprouting broccoli, which are actually masses of tight flower buds.   Buds that, left unharvested, will open into nectar-heavy, yellow flowers which the bees and butterflies love.

If you catch them before the buds burst into an explosion of yellow, the shoots are at their most sweet and tender.

Broccoli is a tough plant in the garden and will survive the hardest frost.  This is what we have had here in Sintra this last week, waking up to a carpet of icicles covering the lawn.  My garden is situated a little hidden and deeper down, it manages to be protected from most of nature’s elements.  Snails however devoured every leaf of last years crop but the broccoli survived and here they are now, gifting our family with their delicate presence.

I also use the smaller leaves just below the bud as I would kale or spinach.

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green garden broccoli palya

enough for 4, as a side dish

This is a very quick, bright-tasting dish. Be careful when stir-frying the broccoli as the tight flower buds tend to burn before the stems are tender.  I like to splash water over the top and saute them on a low heat.  This is a side dish to any dal or kitcheree.  I try to keep the broccoli true to itself and add very minimal seasonings.  An Asian dish also would work well, like this one of Donna’s.

ingredients :

4 cups of garden-picked thin broccoli buds with stems and leaves, no need to chop (or 2 medium store-bought broccoli – thicker stems removed and roughly chopped)

½ tsp black mustard seeds

½ tsp jaggery/ brown sugar

1 Tblsp desiccated coconut

salt to taste

preparation :

In a deep skillet, heat a little ghee/oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When they turn grey and pop, turn down the heat and add the broccoli.  Sprinkle over some water and move them around a bit.  Place the lid on for a minute, remove then stir. Replace lid, then steam for another minute.

Add the jaggery, salt and coconut.  Remove the broccoli so the stems are al dente and still have some crunch.  Serve and eat immediately with dal of choice or kitcheree.

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      Goodness shared from Stacey

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