Purple food...

09 January, 2012

As summer progresses it seems that the food produced just seems to get more and more colourful. This week has been the time for purple foods to shine.

I planted purple sprouting broccoli (affectionately referred to as PSB, mostly because I can’t be arsed saying/typing the whole name) last year for a trial. It’s now something that I don’t think I will ever not grow. It is a bit of a pain because it takes such a long time to grow, but when it does you forget any anxious waiting in the second it takes to register the first mouthful.
I planted the seeds back in April last year. The every present and frustrating bugs appear to like PSB too, and it took a few goes before I got any that weren’t swiftly eaten. But some managed to survive and I was eating my first tender stalks somewhere around July, but I can’t be sure now. What I do know is that since then I’ve been able to do another pick every few weeks, and the plant just seems to get taller and bushier with each pick.

Today’s bunch (plus the tops of the Tuscan kale and a few thinned onions) was chucked in a frying pan with a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and some olive oil, and then the juice from an orange poured over. They were then left to cook until soft and the extra liquid evaporated off, then a couple of beaten eggs were poured over. A little Bruny Island raw C2 cheese was microplaned on top and then chucked under the grill. That with a slice of good sourdough made a really nice lunch which makes me feel that some of the Christmas excess has been purged.

As well as the PSB we now have purple potatoes. I was a little hesitant to grow purple potatoes as I wasn’t sure that I’d really find purple mash or purple gnocci that appealing, but then again the novelty of it got me in the end. And I have to say that I’m still not sure about the mash, but purple gnocci was fabulous, served with a creamy basil sauce. I’ve found that the purple does cook out to a sort of paleish blue unless you leave the skins on which remain vivid purple. But I have read (but not yet tried) that they fade you can squeeze some lemon juice over the cooked potatoes which will return them to their resplendent glory. I’m thinking a nice vinaigrette style potato salad will be the next goer with these babies…

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