I've got purple (and white) sprouting broccoli coming out of my ears. Well, not quite, but I have so much that I offering some of my prized stash to selected office colleagues (those who I believe will actually cook it rather than leaving it to rot in the fridge: one has to be ruthlessly selective with such prime goods). It's a wonderful vegetable that encourages a smugness in all true allotmenteers, as it just can't be grown out of season to supply the mass-retailing, cookie-cutter demands of the supermarkets. This New Statesman article, supplied via Findarticles.com, offers a paean of praise to the PSB (as all true aficionados refer to it). Here's a sample:
Another thing that worshippers at the temple of the sprouting broccoli love is its bitterness. It has a more "challenging" taste and is texturally more varied than calabrese, which has a baby-food mellowness.
On a horticultural note, for an inexplicable reason, my PSB has managed to remain aphid-free from the moment I planted them: they were given to me by fellow allotment enthusiast Dave. The WSB (white sprouting brocolli, natch) bought as cut-price seedlings from a local garden centre, are constantly beset by blackfly that make them virtually impossible to eat, despite a healthy army of ladybirds on hand to graze them. Answers on the comments box, as usual, please.
If you'd like to try something more adventurous than the undoubtledly delicious option of steamed PSB with a touch of butter, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has a mouthwatering PSB recipe to try ... or just try this.
I haven't posted a pic of my PSB here yet because it's been pelting rain for the past two days. I'll add some images as and when I can get down to the patch ...