Sprouting Broccoli

Photos by Keri White

I love it when I discover a new food!

Recently, at the Farmers Market at Christ Church in Old City neighborhood-house.com/farmers-market-at-christ-church, I strolled into Tap Root Farm’s booth, taprootfarmpa.com/ and saw a bin of “sprouting broccoli,” which was completely new to me.

It seemed to be a baby version of broccoli — described by the farmer as “sweet, tender, miniature broccoli shoots” —  and there was no way I could resist these small, leafy bits with their tiny, delicate florets.

I bought a quart and never looked back. I will continue to make the weekly market pilgrimage to secure these unique veggies for as long as their season lasts. If you happen upon them, I suggest you do the same.

Anything cooked in olive oil, garlic, salt, and chili flakes gets my nod, so this has become a go-to side dish in our house. And if you can’t find sprouting broccoli, the same technique works well with fresh spinach, kale, broccolini, broccoli rabe or your favorite leafy green. Add a spritz of lemon juice after cooking if you wish. Be sure to adjust cooking time depending on the hardiness of the green; kale may take up to 15 minutes, while spinach cooks in about 4 minutes.

Sautéed Sprouting Broccoli

Serves 2-4

1 quart sprouting broccoli, rinsed

1 clove garlic, crushed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pinch of chili flakes, if desired

Heat the oil, garlic, salt and chili flakes over medium until fragrant in a large skillet.

Add the sprouting broccoli and sauté, turning frequently to coat, and cook evenly, about 6 minutes.


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