Tim Dover, chef patron of The Roost in Bridge of Earn, loves using broccoli. Here he tells us how to get the best out of the tasty vegetable.
Broccoli is healthy, versatile and delicious, plus it complements a vast range of different ingredients and cooking styles.
If you insist on boiling your broccoli, cut into florets around the same size as a 50p piece, add to salted, boiling water and boil for 3.5 minutes.
If eating immediately – drain, season, butter and serve. If eating later, drain, refresh in cold water, and refrigerate. The broccoli will be cooked but still have a little crunch to it.
Or why not try pan-frying it in a tablespoon of olive oil for approximately 4 to 6 minutes or until the broccoli is cooked but still has a crunch to it.
Try my recipe for broccoli, chicken and king prawn Pad Thai – if you are vegetarian or have a crustacean allergy, please just omit these from the recipe and follow the instructions below. Remember also if you have a crustacean allergy to source a fish sauce that does not contain crustacean.
To serve four, you’ll need: 200g flat rice noodles; 2½ tbsp fish sauce; 2½ tbsp tamarind paste; 1½ tbsp soft light brown sugar; 2 tbsp vegetable oil; 200g tender stem broccoli, chopped roughly; 3 spring onions, chopped; 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 2 bird’s-eye chillies 2, finely chopped; 2 eggs, beaten; 40g roasted peanuts, chopped; 40g coriander, roughly chopped; 1 lime, cut into wedges, to serve; 100g cooked king prawns (optional); 150g cooked chicken breast cut into strips(optional); 20g fresh Thai basil leaves (optional).
Cook the noodles in a pan of lightly salted boiling water following pack instructions, drain, then cool under cold running water and drain again well.
In a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, tamarind paste and sugar with 2 tbsp of boiling water, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until hot, then cook the broccoli, tossing, for 4-5 minutes or until really charred. Pour in 50ml of water and cook until the water has evaporated. Turn the heat down, add the spring onions, garlic, and chilli, Thai basil leaves and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken and prawns, mix through. Make a well in the middle of the vegetables and drop in the beaten egg. Leave it to set, then roughly chop it up with a spoon in the pan and stir it through the vegetables. Tip in the sauce and noodles and toss everything together for several minutes.
Divide between plates, then scatter over the peanuts and coriander, and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.