March is the time when broccoli is at its best. Madalene Bonvini-Hamel suggests wasy to make the most of this seasonal delight.
See also her article on seasonal spring recipes and her recipes for:
- 2 heads of broccoli
- 100g round shallots, peeled and sliced
- 3tbs olive oil
- 1 chilli, de-seeded and julienned
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g white wine vinegar
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 15 chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Poppy seeds for garnishing
Remove the broccoli florets from the stalks and cut them all to the same size. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a rapid boil and blanch the florets until tender, then refresh in ice-cold water, drain and set aside.
Peel the stalks and use a mandolin to finely slice into rounds of wafer-thin discs.
Peel and finely slice the shallots. Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 1tbs of olive oil and sauté until golden.
Add the julienned chilli, reduce the heat and sauté for a further three minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar and lemon zest, let the sugar dissolve and bring to the boil.
Once the vinegar starts to boil, remove the pan from the heat and add the broccoli stalk discs, then stir and set aside to cool and infuse.
While the broccoli pickle cools, sauté the chestnut mushroom quarters in the remaining oil with seasoning until golden brown. Once they are cooked add the lemon juice.
Mix the sautéed mushrooms, drained blanched broccoli and pickled broccoli stalks together.
Arrange the salad in your chosen bowl or on individual plates and sprinkle with poppy seeds as a garnish. The salad is now ready to be served, either slightly warm or chilled.