Ahhh June! How I love thee. The sun tends to stick around a little longer, the evenings are lighter and my new vegetable garden hobby is starting to produce some yummy results.
Right now I am fighting a battle with harvesting my purple sprouting broccoli before it flowers but not before it has grown into a nice big strong ‘branch’ of broccoli. I think the broccoli is winning. I have had to fence off my broccoli from the rest of the garden as my pesky dogs are rather partial to it. When I was harvesting some for this post, they were literally circling like vultures.
I have to admit, I didn’t quite know how to harvest my broccoli. So I did what everyone does when they don’t know something and googled it, and came across this really useful blog post. Now I have to say, my plants didn’t look like the ones in this blog! Buuuut I think I did OK none the less. My broccoli plants are still out there and still producing yummy florets whilst I enjoy the more mature ones.
I split my broccoli into three groups. The first stalky bits – including excess stalky bits from the leafy greens. The second all the actual brocolli bits, and the third the leafy greens. None shall go to waste! I popped the stalks into a freezer bag and popped them in the freezer. This way I can save them all up and then add them to soups. It will thicken soups as well as add a broccoli flavour, not to mention all those vitamins and nutrients. The florets I saved for the below recipe and the greens I chopped up into bite size pieces ready for cooking at a later date. It was a revelation that the leafy greens can be eaten from the broccoli plant as I did think what a waste if they were just thrown! So in true make do and mend/land girl/waste not want not style – none shall be wasted.
On a totally different note – isn’t nature beautiful. I’ve come over all fashiony and am thinking how the folds of the leaves look like delicate fabric folding and swirling around. But that’s enough of the arty crap, on to the eating!
Anyway here is what I made and how I made it.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Broccoli Greens, Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce
You will need:
Purple sprouting broccoli (enough for your tastes)
Chopped up broccoli plant leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Ultra Easy Micorowave Hollandaise Sauce
1 Egg Yolk
1 tablespoon of butter
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Poach an egg in a deep saucepan of boiling water. My fail safe method is to boil the water in the kettle and add to the pan. Add in one tablespoon of malt vinegar (it helps bind the egg yolk apparently) and make a whirlpool to drop the egg into in the water. Then leave for precisely 3 minutes in a rolling boiling pan. This will give you an egg that once drained and patted on a paper towel is perfectly set whites, with a gooey yolk center. Obviously leave longer if you prefer your yolks set.
Meanwhile in a separate frying pan add some oil and salt and pepper to the broccoli and greens and leave to cook on a medium – low heat for the time the egg takes to cook. This will keep your greens and purples nice and bright, a little crunchy or aldente as the Italians say, but warm through. This is when you can start the third element the hollandaise sauce.
In a microwaveable dish heat the butter for 10 seconds so it is soft, but not completely melted. In a separate dish whisk together the egg yolk and lemon juice then leave to stand for a minute (not sure why you have to do this but I diligently followed the instructions and it seemed to work). Add the butter to the eggy mixture and whisk together. Blast in the microwave for 10 seconds then take out and whisk. Do this two more times or until the mixture is thick and smooth. I didn’t get any lumps, but if you do apparently whisking the mixture will get them right out.
Assemble on your plate. Broccoli and greens first, egg on top then the sauce. I finished with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and pepper all over as I love my food extra lemony. And ENJOY!
I was seriously impressed with the hollandaise as it was thick, lemony and smoooth. It perfectly complimented the creamy egg and the fresh taste of the greens and broccoli. I have tried to make hollandaise before in a blender and it was runny and rubbish so this microwave method is certainly the way forward! My Great Auntie Barbara swears by microwave lemon curd, so if it’s good enough for her at 94, then microwaving egg based sauces is definitely the way forward.
Until next time, happy gardening! (and eating!)