Cultivated by the Romans, purple sprouting broccoli has only recently risen to prominence. Especially good when young and tender, purple sprouting broccoli should have a strong colour in the head and stalks should cleanly snap when broken.
One classic combination with to steam and serve with anchovies. I like a different kind of strong pungency to offset the strong flavour of the broccoli - Dolcelatte.
Dolcelatte is a blue veined, creamy Italian cheese from cow milk created really for the British market as a less pungent Gorgonzola. Fat content is higher in Dolcelatte, something like 50%!
To make the sauce, simply place some Dolcelatte into a saucepan with a little cream and on a very low heat let it melt - that's it.
Steam the broccoli for a few minutes, having split any thick stalks down the middle with a knife. Take off the steam, remove the lid and allow the bulk of the steam to escape.
Serve out the broccoli, pouring the sauce over.
Served as a starter or as a vegetable accompaniment to meat, purple sprouting broccoli with a Dolcelatte sauce is divine!
The latter works especially well with some good steak and a few chips - potato lengths deep fried in dripping.