A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Broccoli Gratin

Purple Sprouting Broccoli is at its very best between February and April; the stems are edible too so no throwing them away, please!

Broccoli Gratin

Broccoli Gratin

How to cook purple sprouting broccoli

Easy to prepare and cook, just trim any woody stem ends with a sharp knife and slice through thicker stems so it cooks evenly.

Rinse under cold water then either boil for around 5-7 minutes or steam for around 6-8 minutes, depending on the size of the floret.

I prefer to steam broccoli as it keeps its colour and also the vitamins are preserved rather than washing them down the drain after cooking.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Once cooked season with a little sea salt and it is truly delicious with butter a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

A bit naughty but nice way to serve is to make my gratin with garlicky cream topped with crispy crumbs and Parmesan.

Purple sprouting broccoli can also be used in a quiche and is great in pasta dishes too.

Another favourite way is to do as Nigel Slater suggests; in a shallow pan, fry a little garlic and torn pancetta in olive oil.

Then add the purple sprouting broccoli which will take just 3 or 4 minutes to come to tenderness.

Add a scattering of Parmesan, grated finely, over the top and serve with thickly cut bread and butter.

Yield: 2
Author: Jan Bennett
Broccoli Gratin

Broccoli Gratin

Easy and delicious! If the stems of your broccoli are thick then make a small cut in the stem - about 1 inch up, then they will cook more evenly.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 18 MinTotal time: 23 Min


  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli - washed and ends of stalks trimmed
  • olive oil
  • 1 fat clove of garlic - peeled and very finely chopped
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 slice of bread whizzed into breadcrumbs
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • nutmeg
  • a handful of freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Start by lightly toasting the breadcrumbs in a dry frying pan over a low to medium heat.
  2. Stir to keep them moving so they don't burn. Once done set aside.
  3. Using the same frying pan add a glug of oil (about a tablespoon) and cook the garlic over a low heat; don't let it burn.
  4. Add in the cream, let it bubble for a couple of minutes until it reduces by about a third.
  5. Season with a little salt and black pepper and turn off the heat.
  6. Time to preheat the grill.
  7. Now steam the broccoli for about 6 minutes until the stalks are tender. Alternatively, you can cook in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes.
  8. Season with a little sea salt and lay them in a gratin dish.
  9. Reheat the cream mixture till it bubbles and then pour it over the broccoli.
  10. Top with the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan and a sprinkling of nutmeg.
  11. Drizzle with a little olive oil and pop under the grill for about 5 minutes until bubbling and golden. Serve immediately.
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