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Seasonal Eats: 5 Preps for Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Purple Sprouting Broccoli at the Farmer's Market (Heather Parlato/LAist)
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Springtime is really such an amazing time of year for rediscovering food at the farmer's market. One young vegetable you won't see at the supermarkets is purple sprouting broccoli, a variety of broccoli with purple florets and many thin stems, as opposed to the tree-like shape of Italica broccoli. They are delicate and do well with a light steam or sauté, sometimes with the florets blooming into flowers. Though it looks like broccoli rabe or rapini, it's different in flavor, but can be prepared similarly, which is why most recipes here call for rapini.

Being one of the cruciferous vegetables, sprouting broccoli is similar nutritionally to all other varieties in that it's mildly anti-inflammatory, a good source of protein, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. Steaming broccoli 3-4 minutes is said to maximize its anti-cancer compound sulforaphane.

5 preps for purple sprouting broccoli

Try out a quick glazing over red onions for a double superfood punch: glazed purple sprouting broccoli & caramelized red onions

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Go garlicky and spicy, subbing in sprouting broccoli for broccoli rabe: broccoli rabe with melted garlic

Zest it up with lemon and ricotta: broccoli rabe with lemon butter

Showcase the flavor in a tasty farro risotto: farro risotto with rapini.

Pair it up with pancetta for a hearty braising: braised broccoli rabe

Other seasonal eats:
Seasonal Eats: Make the Most of Pea Shoots this Spring!
Seasonal Eats: 6 Ways to Enjoy Brussels Sprouts
Seasonal Eats: Tame The Wild Stinging Nettles